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Full text of "The printers' vocabulary; a collection of some 2500 technical terms, phrases, abbreviations and other expressions mostly relating to letterpress printing, many of which have been in use since the time of Caxton;"

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Cornell University Library 
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Printers' vocabulary a collection of so 


3 1924 029 491 499 

The original of tliis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



Printers' Vocabulary 




Letterpress Printing 








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Y little volume of last year, " The Printers' 
Handbook of Trade Recipes, etc.," 
having met with a greater success than I 
had anticipated, I venture to offer the accom- 
panying work as a small addition to our literature on Frint- 
ing, trusting that it may be found useful for reference 
purposes, and especially so to those workers who are 
desirous of becoming acquainted with the terms, phrases, 
etc., used in the departments other than those they are 
employed in — the increasing tendency nowadays to sub- 
division of labour making it a somewhat difficult matter 
to acquire the expressions of the other branches of the 
trade. It may also be of service to publishers, authors, 
and others connedled direSly or indireSly with our craft, 
in making more clear the detail .necessary between customer 
and tradesman. 

I trust due allowance will be. made for any possible 
difference of opinion in expressing the many brief defini- 
tions here attempted — circumstances and locality some- 
times allowing of a slightly different construSion — though, 
in the main, the same explanation. 


The feature I have introduced in distinguishing those 
terms and phrases in use some two hundred years ago — 
a date equidistant with the invention of the art and the 
present time — may prove interesting, as many of them 
undoubtedly came into existence with the development of 
printing in this country by William Caxton and his 
successors four centuries since. 

Charles Thomas Jacob i. 
November, 1888. 

All the Terms and Phrases indicated by an asterisk are 
to be found in Joseph Moxon's " Mechanick Exercises," 
Vol. II., 1683. 



Is the signature used by the printer for the preliminary matter of 
a work. 

BBREVIATIONS.*— Characters or signs 
which indicate words or letters that have been 
shortened — such as record sorts in old books or 

*AccentS. — This term refers to the various 
signs used as accents which are cast singly for use with 
kerned letters. 

*Accented letters. — Letters with various marks on used in 
our own and foreign languages for pronunciation or abbrevia- 
tion, such askeioiiaS etc. 

Accessories. — The tools and other small details necessary 
for the working of any press or machine. 

Account books. — The class of books used in the commer- 
cial world for the keeping of accounts, such as ledgers, etc. 


Account line. — Compositors working ia companionships 
usually charge something " on account " — a vague item which 
is supposed to cover work in hand but not finished. 

Account mark. — A sign thus Yc used in commercial 
matters, meaning literally " account current." 

*Acute accent. — A mark placed over a letter, thus a 

Adams' machine. — An American platen machine, first 
invented by a person of the name of Adams some sixty years 

Addenda. — The Latin plural for addition — appendices or 
something added to a book. 

Addendum. — The Latin singular for "Addenda," which 

Address cards. — Personal cards containing the name and 

Admiration. — A punctuation mark, note of exclatnation ! 

Admir. — Abbreviation used in the reading-room for " note of 

Ads. — ^Abbreviation of word "advertisements,'' mostly used 
by news-hands. 

Advs. — Another form of abbreviation for the word " advertise- 

Albert envelopes. — Small square envelopes to take Albert 
notepaper in half, 4^ x 3^ inches. 

Albert note. — A size of note paper cut 6 x 3J inches. 

Albertype. — A photographic process of printing. 

Albion press. — An improved iron printing hand-press first 
invented by Mr. Cope. 

Aldine.— Printing after the style of Aldus Manutius, the 
celebrated Venetian printer who invented italic types, and 
flourished in the fifteenth century. 


Alexandra press. — An iron printing hand-press after the 

Albion style. 
Algebraical signs. — Marks of expression used in algebra. 
All got up. — This term is used when copy is finished, or type 

is all set up. 

All in. — ^When type is limited and all distributed, it is said to 

be " all in." 
All in hand. — Copy when all given out is said to be " all in 

All out. — This term is used when copy or type is exhausted. 
All up.— When type is all used, or copy all in type, it is said 

to be " all up." 
Alloy. — The metal of which type is made is an alloy principally 

of lead, antimony, and tin. 
Alterations. — A general term for heavy corrections or the 

changing of margins. 
Altering margin. — Adapting the furniture from one size to 

another, i.e. from small paper to large paper, or vice versa. 
*Alum. — A piece of ordinary alum used by compositors for 

hardening the fingers in distributing. 
American hard packing. — This refers to the system of 

making ready in vogue in America, in contradistinction to the 

usual style adopted in England. 
Ampersand. — The abbreviation or sign for the word " and " 

thus — & (roman), dr» (italic), 5 (black letter). 
*Ancient customs. — Those customs recognized by long 

Anglo-French machine. — A cylindrical printing machine. 

It is the result of various English and French ideas. 
Antiqua. — A German expression for Roman types. 
Antiquarian . — A size of drawing paper, 53 X 31 inches. 
Antique type. — Founts of old or mediaeval character, such 

as Caslon's. 
A. p. — These initials stand for "author's proof" 


Apostrophe. — A mark of punctuation used to denote the 
possessive or to indicate a contraction. 

Appearing. — A term used to express (say) the length of a 
page exclusive of white line — just that part of a page which 
" appears " in printing. 

Applegath machine. — A cylindrical machine first invented 
by Mr. Applegath in the early part of the present century. 

Arab machine. — ^A small platen machine for jobbing pur- 
poses originally made in America. 

Arabic figures. — Ordinary figures, roman or italic, thus — 
12 3 etc., as distinct from roman numerals. 

Arbor. — An iron piUar which was used in the Stanhope press 

to attach the bar-handle to. 
Arm. — Any connecting rod between two distinct working parts 

of a machine. 
ArtOtype. — A photographic process of printing from glass 

♦Ascending letters. — These are aU letters with up-strokes, 

such as b d h k 1. 

Asses. — Compositors were thus termed by pressmen by way of 
retaliation for being called " pigs." 

Asterisk. — A mark thus * technically called a star, generally 
used as a reference mark. 

♦Astronomical signs. — Marks used in connection with 

Atlas. — A size of writing or drawing paper, 33 x 26 inches. 

Author's proof. — A proof bearing corrections made by the 
author or editor. 

Autography. — This process is the act of transferring 
writings or drawings from paper to stone. 

Axle. — That part of a machine on which a wheel or shaft 

Is the first signature of the printer' s alphabet (4 heing used for 
the preliminary matter, usually done last). 

ACK boxes. — Is a term applied to the unoccu- 
pied boxes of an upper case where there are no 
small caps or accents. 

Back mark. — The back mark of a laying-on 
board of a printing machine. 

Back of a type. — The reverse side to the nick or belly of a 

Back pages. — The even or " verso '' pages of a printed sheet. 

Back stay. — Used for checking the running-out of the press 
from underneath the platen. 

Back-up. — Is to reverse the motion of a machine, mostly per- 
formed by hand. 

Backing metal. — A metal used for the backs of electrotype 
plates to bring the thickness up to the standard pica, or type- 
high if required — the electro itself-being a mere " shell." 

Backs. — Referring to the "back" margin of pages (see 
" Gutters ") — that part of a book which is sewn when bound ; 
sometimes the crosses are thus termed. 

*Backside of the forme. — That part of the forme which 
touches the imposing surface or bed of press. 

Bad colour. — Too much or too little ink used — also uneven 
distribution and rolling. 


*Bad copy. — Applied to badly written MSS. and " lean " copy. 
Bad lay.^A sheet badly laid or placed in printing — out of 

the square or centre. 
Bad matter. — Term used to indicate type for distribution. 

*Bad register. — In printing the second forme if pages do not 
back correctly. 

Bag cap. — ^A size of brown paper, 24 X 19|- inches. 

*Baked. — Applied to type when sticking or caked together, 
and hard to separate in distributing. 

Balaam. — A slang term for standing matter kept for filling up 

Balaam box. — ^A slang term for the receptacle containing 
rejected MSS. 

*Ball knife. — A blunt knife which was used for scraping up 
the old ink-balls. 

*Ball leathers. — The outer coTcrings of the ink-balls were 
- tbus described, though not necessarily leather. 

Ball linings. — An inner covering used for the old ink-baUs. 
*Ball nails. — Tacks or clouts used for fastening on the cover- 
ings of the old ink-balls. 

Ball necks. — That part of the stock of the ink-ball between 
the handle and the pelt. 

Ball racks. — A receptacle for ink-balls out of use. 
*Ball stocks. — The handle and body combined used for the 
old ink-balls. 

*Balls. — The old custom of distributing ink was by "balls," 
rollers being a modem institution. 

Band. — A belt or strap for imparting motion from the shaft to 
a machine. 

Bank. — A wooden table or bench for placing the sheets on as 

Bank paper. — A thin paper mostly used for foreign letter 
or note paper to save cost of postage. 


Bar. — A cylindrical printing machine with " drop-bar " action 
for laying on. 

Barge. — A small wooden box with six or eight divisions used 
for holding spaces to alter justification in making corrections. 
See " Space paper." 

Barged case. — When a case is uneven with the various sorts 
— some full, others empty — it is thus described. 

Bastard founts. — A fount of type cast on a larger body 
than originally intended for. This obviates trouble and the 
expense of leading a smaller body. 

Bastard title. — A fly or half-title before the full title of a 
work. . 

Batter. — ^Broken or damaged letter or letters through acci- 
dent, wear and tear, or carelessness. 

Beam engine. — A vertical or perpendicular engine. 

Beano. — A slang abbreviation for " beanfeast," which is, how- 
ever, usually termed " goose " or wayzgoose by compositors. 

*Beard of a letter. — The blank sloping part, foot or head, of 
the shoulder of a type not occupied by the face of the letter. 

*Bearer. — A clump or anything type-high to bear oif the 
impression from the light parts of a broken forme. 

*Beat. — ^In order to impart good colour to a particularly solid 
part of a forme — a woodcut, for instance — a pressman beats 
that portion with his roller to give it additional ink. 

*Beat fat. — To give ample ink in rolling or beating a cut. 

*Beat lean. — To insufficiently ink a forme in rolling or inking 
a cut. 

Beater. — A wooden implement used in the warehouse in 
packing, to make the ends and corners of a parcel lie flat and 

*Bed. — The table or " coffin " of a machine or press upon 
which the forme lies. 


Bed of the frame. — The lower part of the frame, which 
forms a shelf that can be used for placing surplus sorts, etc. on. 

Begin a fresh par. — To commence a fresh paragraph by 
means of indentation. 

Begin even. — To expedite composition where the copy is in 
long paragraphs, the compositor starts at random, that is,, in 
the middle of a sentence, and the preceding compositor " makes 
even " to his " take " of copy. 

Bellows. — The ordinary domestic article used for blowing 
the dust out of cases which have been lying by out of use. 

Belly of a type. — The front or nick side of a type. 

Belts. — The straps or bands used for driving machinery. 

*Benvenue. — A kind of entrance fee paid to the chapel by a 
workman on entering a fresh office — an old custom. Derived 
from the French bienventte, welcome. 

Bevel wheel. — A cog wheel bevelled to fit into a similar one 
in driving machinery at right angles. 

Bevelled edges. — Book covers and cards are thus termed 
when the edges are sloped or chamfered. 

Bevelled rules. — Rules to properly form a square frame or 
border must be bevelled at an angle of forty-five degrees. 

Bill. — A term for a broadside or poster. 

Bill. — Record of work done. Also used to indicate a com- 
plete fount of letter cast to a particular scale which type- 
founders have. 

Bills in parliament. — A class of work which has a par- 
ticular scale of prices in composition. 

Bind. — To do up in cloth or otherwise a book or pamphlet. 

*Binder. — A short term for a bookbinder. 

Bindery. — An Americanism for a bookbinding establishment. 


Binding. — In locking-up a forme if the furniture is longer or 
wider than the type and doubles, it is said to bind, and the 
pages cannot be tightened up properly. 

*Bite. — When a page or portion thereof is not printed by 
reason of the frisket being badly cut out and the impression 
only shows. 

Black and white. — A euphemism for paper and print. 

Black letter. — A general expression used to iadicate old 
English, text, or church type. 

Bklr. — An abbreviation for " black letter " used by booksellers 
in cataloguing. 

Blacks. — When a space, quadrat, or furniture rises and is 
imprinted on the sheet. Also used when woodcuts and 
electros are not sufficiently cleared out, and print the low parts. 

Blank page. — Any page of a forme that has no print on. 

Blanks. — Blank pages or spaces are sometimes expressed thus. 

^Blankets. — Flannel or woollen cloth used in the tympaus of 
a press or on the cylinder of a machine. Not used very much 
now except for old and uneven type — the new system of 
hard packing being preferred. 

Bleed. — When a book or pamphlet has been cut down too 
much, so as to touch the printed matter. 

Blind blocked. — Lettering on book covers not inked or gilt 
— simply impressed. 

Blind P. — A paragraph mark ^ so called from the loop of the 
p being closed. 

*Block. — A general term used — embracing woodcuts, electros, 
or zincos. 

Block books. — The early books of the Chinese were thus 
called; they were printed entirely from engraved blocks. 

Blocked. — This applies €o the lettering on cloth book-covers, 
which is blocked at one operation, not hand-stamped. 


Blocked-up. — Type is said to be blocked-up, when owing to 

author, or over-pressure in press or machine-room, the formes 

cannot be printed off. 
Blotting paper. — Paper of a very soft and absorbent nature 

— use obvious. 
Blow-off pipe. — ^An outlet pipe at the bottom of a boiler. 
Board racks. — Racks, made in "bulks" usually, to hold 

laying-up boards. 

Boards. — A general term for paste and cardboards. A short 
term for the laying-up boards used by compositors for dis- 
tribution. Also applied to wetting and glazed boards. 

^Bodkin. — A pointed steel instrument fixed in a round handle, 
mostly used to correct with in the metal. 

*Body. — This is the shank of a letter. Also applied to the 
text or general type of a volume, " body of the work." 

Body of the work. — The text or subject-matter of a 
volume is thus described to distinguish it fi'om the preliminary, 
appendix, or notes. 

Boiler gauge. — A tube to show depth of water in boiler. 

Boiler tubes. — The tubes which run at the back of the 
furnace to carry off the smoke to the shaft. 

Bold. — This expression applies to fat-faced type, such as is 
used in catalogues, etc. See " Clarendon." 

Bolster. — A stop at the end of the ribs of the press to prevent 
the carriage running out too far. 

Bolts. — Heads and fore-edge are thus described by the binder 
in receiving instructions for opening or not opening edges of 
a book. 

Book founts. — Founts of tjrpe distinct from fancy or jobbing 

Book-house. — A printing office where book-work more 
especially is executed, in contradistinction to a jobbing or 


Booking. — When a book is gathered in sections, on account 
of the great number of sheets in the volume, and the different 
sections are afterwards gathered together to form the book, 
this term is applied. 

Booklets. — An affected term for short or small books or 

Book press. — The warehouse screw-press which was used, 
previously to hydraulic presses, for pressing books. 

Book quoins. — A medium size of wooden quoin — the 
larger kind being called " news quoins." 

Books (Sizes of). — Various kinds, such as folio, quarto, 
octavo, sixteenmo, thirty-twomo, etc., which see respectively. 

Book-work. — That class of work which is distinct from 
jobbing or newspaper. 

Botanical signs. — Marks of expression used in botany. 

*Botch. — Bad or careless workmanship. See " Fudge." 

Botcher. — A bad or careless workman. 

Bottle-arsed. — Type thickened at the feet through wear and 
tear in continual impression and improper planing down. 

Bottle-necked. — Type thicker at the top than the bottom — 
the reverse of " bottle-arsed." 

Bottom boards. — The lower or taking-off boards of a 

printing machine. 
*Bottoni line. — The last line in a page. 

Bottom notes. — Foot-notes are sometimes thus called, to 
distinguish them from side-notes. 

Bound. — The term for books when in covers — cloth or other- 
wise, as distinct from books in quires. 

Bourgeois. — The name of a type one size larger than 
Brevier and one size smaller than Long Primer — equal to half 
a Great Pi-imer in body. 


*Bowing a letter. — An old expression for breaking and dis- 
carding a battered letter. 

Bowra rule cutter. — A small rule or lead cutter invented 
by Mr. Bowra, and made by Messrs. Harrild and Sons. 

Box in. — A term used to indicate that rules should be placed 
round as a border. 

*Boxes. — The divisions of a type case. 
Boxwood shooting stick. — A locking-up stick made of 
that particular kind of wood. 

Brace pliers. — An implement used for curving brass rule in 
making braces. 

*Braces. ■ — ■ — . These are cast on their own bodies and by 
degrees of ems, and used to connect lines. Longer ones are 
usually made of brass rule by special pliers. 

Bracket. — A holder or hanger from the roof to support 

Bracket. — A sign of punctuation, thus [ or ] 

Brake. — Apparatus for facilitating the stopping of machinery. 

Branch out. — To lead or "white" out a title or display lines 
of any kind. 

Brass circles. — These are used for jobbing purposes, such 
as seals, trade marks, etc., and made oval or round, but gene- 
rally called circles. 

Brass composing rules. — In order to expedite the setting 
of type compositors use a rule which is shifted line by line. 
They are sometimes made of steeL 

Brass curves. — Curves used for shaping the lines of type in 
display work — either circular or semicircular. 

Brass face. — Electrotypes are brass faced to prevent red ink 
turning dirty, when it is requisite to print in that colour. 

*Brass rules. — Used for borders and lines in columns, etc., 
and cast to different thicknesses. 


Brass rules (Varieties of). — There are several kinds, such 
as dotted, wavy, plain, double, thick, thin, etc. 

*Bray. — This is to distribute ink on the table by means of the 
brayer, preparatory to taking it on the roUer. 

*Brayer. — A wooden implement for rubbing out ink on the 

table for fresh distribution. 
Brayer ink table. — A table used by pressmen on which to 

bray ink out, distinct from cylindrical ink tables. 

*Break. — An expression used to indicate the end or commence- 
ment of a paragraph. It is also indicated in copy by a 

bracket mark, thus [ or ] 
* Break. — To pie or " squash" type. 
*Break of a letter. — The surplus metal on the foot of a 

letter as cast from the mould. 
Break up. — An amateurish expression for distribute or clear 

Break up into pars. — To break up solid copy into short 

Bremner machines. — ^Various platen and cylindrical 

machines invented by Mr. Samuel Bremner. 
*Brevier. — A size of type one size larger than Minion and one 

size smaller than Bourgeois. 
Brevier brass rule. — Brass rules cast on a Brevier body. 
Brilliant. — A size of type one size larger than Minnikin and 

one size smaller than Gem. 
Bring up. — To make ready or level the type by overlaying or 

patching up. 
Bristol boards. — A class of very fine pasteboards chiefly used 

for drawing purposes. 
Broad. — A piece of furniture, wood or metal, four picas in 

Broad and narrow. — Furniture seven picas in width — a 

broad and narrow combined. 
Broad quotations. — Metal quotations four ems pica square. 


Broad thirds card. — ^A "large" card cut into tliree the 

long way. 
*Broadside. — A sheet printed one side only, such as a poster 

or biU. 
Broadside composing stick. — A long implement specially 

made of wood for lightness. 
Broadside chases. — Large chases without cross-bars used 

for this class of work. 
♦Broken letter. — Is said of type pied or squabbled. 
Broken matter. — See " Broken letter." 
Broken neck. — When the handle of the old ink-ball stock 

was broken, it was thus described. 

Bronze ink. — Various inks made with an addition of bronze. 
When dry, they give a decided metallic appearance to the 

Bronze preparation. — A varnish used for printing, pre- 
paratory to dusting the bronze on the impressed letters. 

Bronze printing. — The art of printing in bronze. 

Bronzing machine. — A mechanical contrivance to econo- 
mize time and obviate waste of material. 

Brooks' press. — An improved Stanhope press invented by 
Mr. Brooks in the early part of this century. 

Browns. — A technical term used to describe the make of 
paper known as " brown paper." 

Brush out. — To clean out a forme by means of lye or 

Bulk. — Usually the bench situated at the end of a composing 

Bullet. — When a workman is discharged without notice he is 
said to have "got the bullet." Sometimes it is used when he 
receives notice to leave in the usual manner. 

Bullock press. — One of the original Web printing machines 
of American make, called after a person of that name. 


Bullock's heart. — Pressmeii's expression for 250 copies 
working — a " lean " number. 

Bundle. — Usually means two reams of paper in a parcel. 

*Bur. — The roughness left on a letter through insufficient dress- 
ing by the type-founder. 

Burnished edges. — ^When edges are coloured and polished 
with a burnisher. 

Business cards. — The class of cards used in commercial 
circles denoting one's business, name, and address. 

Button of tympan. — The stud on the frame which the hook 
catches in order to hold the inner and outer tympans secure. 

Button on. — A slang term sometimes used by printers for a 
workman with " a fit of the blues." 

Is the second signature of the printer's alphabet. 

ABINET cards. — Cards cut 4^x6^ inches, 
used by photographers for mounting prints of 
that size. 

Calendered paper. — Paper very highly 
rolled or glazed, much used for the printing 
of illustrated books or magazines. 

Calendering. — Rolling or glazing of paper is thus described. 

Cam. — A wheel of irregular shape (not round) to impart 
eccentric motion to any particular part of a machine. 

Cambric. — This material was formerly used instead of parch- 
ment for covering tympans in fine presswork. 

Campbell machine. — A single cylinder machine of Ameri- 
can make. 

Cancel. — A reprint of a leaf or leaves owing to a mistake — 
literary or technical — and usually indicated by an asterisk in 
the white Une. 

*Canon. — A type four picas deep in body, but somewhat small 
in face. 

*Capitals. — Letters other than lower case or small capitals. 

Caps. — Abbreviation of word " capitals," and usually indicated 
by three lines " in MS. 

Caps and smalls. — A word or words set in small capitals 
with the initial letter a full capital — thus. Printer — indicated 
by three and two underlinings respectively, thus ^^^ and 
in copy. 


Carbon paper. — Black manifold paper used by drapers and 
others for duplicating invoices, etc. 

Cardboard. — Boards made, sometimes of pulp, and sometimes 
of sheets pasted together, and afterwards rolled. 

Card chases. — Small chases used for cards or similar small 

Card-cutting machine. — A small machine specially made 
for the cutting of cards. 

Card machine. — A small treadle — sometimes worked by 
steam-power — for the printing of cards or other small jobs. 

Card press. — A small jobbing hand-press — treadle machines 
are sometimes so called — used for printing cards or other 
small work. 

Cards. — General term for paste or pulp boards. * This term 
is often applied to the various sizes cut from the boards. 

Cards (Sizes of). — There are several regular sizes, such as 
large, small, thirds, town, cabinet, carte de visite, etc., which 
see respectively. 

Caret. — Marked thus ^ to indicate an insertion in copy. 

*Carriage. — The bed or coffin on which the forme is laid and 
which runs under the platen or cylinder in a printing press or 

Carte de visite cards. — Cards cut 4J x 2J inches, used by 
photographers for mounting prints of that size. 

Cartridge paper. — A machine-made paper exceptionally 

*Case. — The receptacle in which type is laid to compose from. 
When in pairs, defined as upper and lower respectively. 

Case barged. — An uneven case of type — some boxes empty, 
others fuU or nearly so. 

Case department. — That portion of a printing office 
occupied by the compositors. 


*Case is full. — When the case has been filled by distribution 

or laying of new type. 
*Case is low. — When the type has been nearly all set out. 
Case overseer. — The foreman of the composing department. 

Case racks. — Receptacles for holding cases when out of use 
— distinct from frame racks, which are used for cases in use. 

Case runs over. — When the case has been over-filled. 

Case work. — A term for publishers' or cloth binding. 

Case work. — The general expression for defining the com- 
positors' work in printing a book. 

Cases. — An expression generally applied to cloth book-covers. 

Cases down. — When cases are out of use and taken down 
from the frame, the fact is thus expressed. 

Cases up. — When cases are in use and up on the frame, the 
fact is thus expressed, in contradistinction to " cases down." 

Casing. — A size of brown paper, 46 X 36 inches. 

Casing paper. — A machine-made paper which comes under 

the head of " browns " — used for wrapping purposes. 
Caslon type. — A term sometimes applied to the old-faced 

types cut by William Caslon. 

*Cassie paper. — Outside or broken paper was formerly thus 
spoken of. 

*Cast. — Generally applied to a stereotype cast. 

Cast-iron chases. — Chases made by casting in an iron 
foundry. These, though cheaper than wrought iron, are 
rougher and more likely to be fractured if not carefully 

*Cast-off. — To calculate or estimate length of copy to be 
printed — a troublesome task in uneven and badly-written MS. 

Casting-up. — To measure the pages by means of ems and 
ens of its own body according to the existing scale of prices. 

Catches. — Made generally of brass, to hold stereo or electro- 
type plates on blocks. 


Catchline. — The line which contains the " catchword " at the 
bottom of a page. 

Catchword. — A word placed at the bottom right-hand corner 
of pages in old books, indicating the first word on the following 

Cater-cornered. — Sheets of paper when not cut square. 

Caxton. — The particular kind of Old English type used for 
composing books in that character. 

Caxton cases. — Cases of special lay for composing works in 
that character, by reason of the many ligatures. 

Caxton machine. — A small platen jobbing machine worked 
by foot or by steam-power, made by Messrs. Fumival and Co., 

Cedilla C. — A French accent — thus, 9 

Celluloid. — A composition made principally, it is said, of 
refuse from gun-cotton. Plates have been cast from type in 
this material, and as it is very hard it is admirably adapted 
for tint blocks. 

Centred figures. — Small-faced figures cast centrally on a 
larger body, generally used in numbering lines for reference 
purposes in poetical works. 

Ceriphs. — The fine strokes at the ends of letters — thus, J-J 
which do not appear in sans ceriphs — H 

Certificate. — A guarantee of a limited number of copies 
only having been printed of any work, usually placed near the 

Chaostype. — A particular kind of type of a fantastic 

*Chapels. — The meetings held by the workmen to consider 
trade affairs, appeals, and other matters are thus termed. 
Derived, it is said, from Caxton's connection with Westminster 

Chapelonians. — Members of any chapel in a printing office. 


Chapel money. — An ancient custom of allowing pecuniary 
commission by the tradesmen to members of a, chapel. A 
reprehensible practice nowadays, however. 

Chapel rules. — Most chapels, press or compositors', have a 
set of rules for the guidance of their members. 

Chapter heads. — The headings at the top of a chapter. 

Chart paper. — A machine-made paper manufactured of best 
rags, specially adapted for charts and maps, being strong in 
texture and thin for folding purposes. 

*Chase. — An iron frame, cast or wrought, to hold the type for 

Chases (Varieties of). — Several kinds, such as cast- or 
WTOught-iron, folding, foKo, quarto, jobbing, etc. 

Check book. — A tabulated book used by compositors to show 
at a glance the progress of a work, and also by which to check 
the composition and charges thereon. 

Check screw. — A screw in the hand-press to regulate the 
length of pull. 

*Cheeks. — The upright sides of a printing press, between which 
the carriage or bed is run before pulling the bar over. 

Chemical signs. — Marks of expression used in chemistry. 

Cheque papers. — Generally hand-made from best rags, and 
as a rule specially water-marked. 

Chill, — An elbow of steel immediately at the end of the press 
bar, which gives the impression by its being moved into a 
vertical position on the bar being pulled over. 

Chinese paper. — A thin paper of very soft texture used by 
engravers to pull proofs on. Erroneously called " India " paper. 

Chinese white. — A colourless pigment used for thinning or 
blending coloured inks. 

*Choked. — An expression used when the face of type gets 
filled up with ink and dirt, owing to bad washing and 
rinsing of formes. 


Chopper on. — A person with a fit of" the blues " and intensely 
miserable is thus described. It is a slang expression some- 
times used by printers. 

Chromograph. — A copying process by means of writing on 
a preparation of gelatine, etc., whereby a large number of 
copies may be printed. 

Chromo-lithography. — The art of printing in colours by 

Circled corrections. — Special alterations made after the 
type has been corrected are generally encircled on the proof 
in order to call particular attention to them. 

Circles. — Brass rings cast hollow to allow of type being 
placed inside. 

Circuit edges. — Books, generally bibles or prayer-books, are 
sometimes bound with the covers projecting and turned over 
to protect the edges. 

Circular saw. — A revolving saw used for cutting up plates, 
furniture, etc. 

Circulars. — The class of small job work which includes 
letters, circulars, etc. 

*Circuniflex. — Accented letters marked thus, I g i 6 u 

City printing machine. — ^A single-cylinder machine made 
by Mr. Ingle. 

Clarendon. — A bold or fat-faced type is generally thus 
described ; the older foimts were called " Egyptian." 

*Claw. — The tail of a sheepsfoot. 

Claw^S. — Another name for the catches of stereotype blocks; 
usually made of brass, but sometimes of steel. 

*Clean proof. — A term used to discriminate between a foul 
or first proof and a proof ready to be sent out to a customer. 

Clean sheets. — Sheets put aside as printed off to show pro- 
gress of work and for editorial purposes. 


Clean up. — To clean or wipe up maclimery when idle. 
Clearing away. — A term applied to express literally clearing 

away the type of a job or work after printing, i.e. to unlead, 

take headlines, etc., away, and tie up in pieces, preparatory 

to papering-up and storing. 
Clearing pie. — To separate and distribute broken or mixed 

type into their proper cases. 
Clearing stone. — After correcting a forme it is a rule in all 

well-ordered offices for the compositor to put away all stray 

letters and tools into their proper places. A fine is customary 

in some offices for breaking this rule. 

Clerical errors. — Mistakes in copying MS. 

Clerk of the chapel. — Practically the secretary of a 
chapel, who collects the subscriptions, etc. 

Cliche. — French term for a cast, usually applied to stereo or 
electro duplicates. 

Clicker. — The compositor in charge of a companionship, who 
receives copy and instructions direct from the overseer or 
principal, and is responsible to his companions for the charging 
of the work done. 

Clicking. — The system of working in companionships under a 

*Close matter. — Matter with few breaks, and set solid, i.e. 

without leads. See "Lean" and" SoHd dig." 
Close spacing. — By this is meant spacing less than a thick 

space. Works not leaded should be rather more closely spaced 

than leaded ones. 

*Close work. — See " Close matter." 

Closed apostrophes. — Double apostrophes (") used to 
indicate the end of any quoted passage. 

Closed office. — A printing office closed to " society" hands. 

Closed up. — When a compositor has been behindhand with 
his share of copy and his companions awaiting the completion, 
he is said to have " closed up " when finished. 


Closet. — The counting-house is sometimes thus described, as 
is also the reading-room. See " The closet." 

Cloth .boards. — Books when bound in cloth cases are 
described as being in " cloth boards." 

Cloth-faced paper. — Paper and cloth or linen pasted 
together, used especially for folding cards to prevent the 
score breaking. 

Clothing rollers. — Changing the composition on worn-out 

Clumps. — Metal furniture, or pieces of metal used by stereo- 
typers, etc., chiefly to form the bevel of a plate. 

Clymer press. — An iron hand-press called the Columbian 
made by Mr. Clymer of Philadelphia, who came to England 
in the early part of this centiiry. 

Cobb paper. — A paper largely used by bookbinders for the 
sides of half-bound books. It is made in various shades of 

Cock. — In throwing or "jeffing" with quadrats as dice, when 

one lodges on top of another — thus lifting it partly off the 

surface thrown on — it is thus termed. Another throw is then 

Cock-robin shop. — A small printing office where common 

work is done, and labour is badly paid for, is generally thus 

Cock-up. — A superior figure or letter that does not range at 

bottom, and is used for contractions, thus " if. " or " AV' 
*Coffin. — The carriage or bed of a cylindrical machine or 

platen press. 
CofKn. — A little conical bag, made of paper, to put sorts in — 

similar to those made by grocers for sugar, etc. 
Cogger's press. — An old iron hand-press invented by Mr. T. 

Cogger in the early part of this century. 
Cog-'wheels. — Wheels with teeth for transmitting motion 

from one part of a machine to another. 


Cold pressing. — Sheets pressed between glazed boards, 

usually, and more effectually, in a hydraulic press. 
Cold rolling. — ^lu contradistinction to hot rolling — the 

rollers being made hot in the one instance, and in the other 

the rollers being in the natural state. 
Collar. — A circular band fastened with nuts and screws to 

hold two lengths of shafting together. 
*Collate. — To run through the sheets of a book to see if the 

signatures are in sequence. 
Colombier. — A drawing paper, size 34J X 23J inches. 
Colon. — A mark of punctuation : 
Co. — Abbreviation of the word "colon," used in the reading 

Colophon. — An inscription or tailpiece — usually a printer's 

imprint — at the end of a book. 
Colour printing. — Printing in one or more colours than 

black is thus termed. 
Coloured edges. — The edges of books when other than 

simply cut or gUt. 
Columbian press. — An iron hand-press invented by 

Mr. Clymer of Philadelphia in the early part of this century. 
Column galley. — A metal galley used in newspaper work. 
Column matter. — Type set in two or more columns is thus 


Column rules. — Rules used for dividing columns in double- 
columned work or newspapers. 

Come in. — When copy is got into a given space it is said to 
" come in." 

*Come off. — A sheet as printed is said to "come off" easily, 
or the reverse, if difficult to leave the forme by reason of 
heavy cuts. 

Comma. — A mark of punctuation , 

Com. — Abbreviation of the word " comma,'' used in the reading 


Commence turns. — Keversed double commas (") used 
to indicate the commencement of anj quoted passage. 

Commercial envelopes. — Envelopes to take large post 
8to in three, 5i X 3^ inches. 

Commercial signs. — ^Marks of expression used by com- 
mercial persons, such as £ @ lb $ 

Common points. — Ordinary points with a pin or spur 
attached, in contradistinction to " spring points," etc. 

^Companions. — Two men who work at a press are thus 
styled, as also the members of a companionship, or body of 
compositors working together under a clicker. 

Comp. — Abbreviation for companion or compositor, much 
used by compositors. 

Companionship. — A number of compositors who work to- 
gether under a clicker. 

Comping. — A slang term for composing or setting type. 

Complete fount. — A fount of type including capitals, small 
capitals, lower-case, figures, accents, spaces, etc., as distinct 
from " sorts." 

*Compose. — To set up type. 

Composing machines. — Mechanical appliances for setting 
type. Various kinds have been invented from time to time 
with more or less success. 

Composing room (or department). — The portion of a 
printing office occupied by the compositors. 

*Composing rule. — A brass rule, with a nose-piece, the 
length of the measure or width of the type being set up ; it 
facilitates the composition in being shifted line by line. 

*Composing stick. — A tool or implement for setting type in, 
usually made of iron or gun-metal. Long sticks, such as are 
used for broadsides, are made of wood for lightness. 

Composition. — Boilers made prmcipally of glue and treacle. 

Compo. — Abbreviation for the roller composition. 


Composition. — The art of composing or setting type. 
*Compositor. — A type-setter or composer of type. 

Compositors' rules. — Type measures or scales made of 
boxwood or ivory. 

Compound words. — Two words of equal grammatical 
value joined by a hyphen. 

Condensed letter. — Thin and elongated founts of type are 
thus described. 

Condition. — Rollers are said to be in or out of condition 
according to their merits. 

Conditions of sale. — The class of legal work embracing 
conditions and particulars of sale. 

Connection. — In passing sheets of a work finally for press 
the reader sees that the sequence from sheet to sheet is 
preserved, and not disturbed by any overrunning. 

Con. — Abbreviation of the word "connection,'' used in the 
reading department. 

Contents. — That part of the preliminary matter which gives 
the " contents " and pagination of the various sections of a 

Contractions. — Abbreviations, or record sorts, indicated by 
accents over or through the letters. 

Cope's press. — This is the Albion iron hand-press invented 
by Mr. Cope. 

*Copy. — The manuscript or reprint copy from which the com- 
positor composes. 

Copyholder. — The reading "boy" in a newspaper office. 

*Copy money. — In olden times each compositor received a 
copy of the work he had been employed on, or a pecuniary 
reward. The custom is now obsolete. 

Copy paper. — A writing paper, size 20 x 16 inches. 

cob] PRINTURS' vocabulary. 27 

Copyright. — The rights held by publisher or author for a 
certain term of years in any original work. 

Copy's out. — When the copy is all in hand, but not neces- 
sarily all composed, it is said to be " out." 

Copying paper. — A thin paper used for copying letters and 
accounts in commercial circles. 

Copper bronze. — Bronze powder made of copper used for 
printing purposes. 

Copper-faced. — Casta — really electrotypes — are thus de- 
scribed, to distinguish them from stereotypes. 

Copperplate printing. — The art of intaglio printing from 
engraved copper-plates. 

*Cording quires. — The outside quires of a ream, generally 
called " outsides." 

Cores. — Metal stereo blocks cast on girder-like sections to 

reduce weight of forme and economize metal. 
Corks. — A slang expression sometimes used by printers to 

express money. 

Corner irons. — The comer pieces of iron screwed on the 
corners of the bed or coffin of a press. 

Corner-up. — A sheet or sheets when doubled up at the 
comers is said to be cornered up. 

Corners. — An omament used for decorating the corner of a 
border in brass rule or otherwise. 

Corners rounded. — Cards are supplied with the comers 

*Correct. — To amend errors or make alterations in a proof. 

Correcting nippers. — A pair of tweezers used for correct- 
ing type — especially handy for tabular work. 

•Correcting stone. — The surface on which a forme is laid to 
be corrected. See " Imposing stone." 

•Corrections. — The emendations or alterations made on a 


*Corrector. — An ancient term for a reader, now called " cor- 
rector of the press," the term used by the Readers' Association. 

Corrigenda. — Plural of "corrigendum" (Latin), corrections 
of errors, etc. 

Corrigendum. — Singular of " corrigenda." 

Cotton waste. — Refuse cotton used as "wipings" to clean 
machinery, etc. 

Counter. — The person responsible for the proper counting of 
all work as it is printed off. 

Counter shafting. — A smaller shaft connected with the 
main shaft in driving machinery. 

♦Counting off copy. — See " Casting off." 

Court envelopes. — Square envelopes to take large or small 
post 8vo in half, and termed respectively "large" or "small" 

*Cramped. — When matter is set close and insufficiently 
" whited out." 

Crank. — A long arm connected with a wheel or cam, with 
a backward or forward motion. 

Cream-laid. — A writing paper showing the wire marks when 
held up. 

Cream- wove. — A writing paper without wire marks — the 
reverse of " cream-laid." 

Creamy paper. — Paper with a slight tone is thus described. 

Creswick. — A handmade di-awing paper so called after the 
person of that name. 

Cropped. — A book is said to be " cropped " when cut down 
too much. 

Cropper machine. — An American small treadle platen 
machine made by Mr. Cropper. The original one was the 
" Minerva." 

Cropper. — A short term for the "cropper" small printing 
platen machine. 


*Cross-bars. — The bars which divide chases into sections — 
fixed in cast chases, but generally movable in wrought ones. 

*Crosses. — The cross-bars of chases ai-e familiarly thus called. 

*CrotchetS. — Another expression for brackets [ or ] somewhat 
out of date. 

Crowded. — When type is composed somewhat close or 
cramped it is said to be " crowded." 

Cro^vn. — A size of printing paper, 20 X 15 inches. 

Crystallotypy.^A process of producing artificial crystallized 

tint plates. 
*Cull paper. — To examine and select the best of damaged 

Curly n. — A term for the accented letter used in record work 

or in Spanish. 

Currying irons. — These were used for currying the old ink 
balls, i.e. taking the moisture out of the ball. 

Curvilinear plates. — Special stereo plates curved, cast, 
and bent for cylinder machines, as used for newspapers. 

Custom of the house. — Certain rules and regulations in 
vogue in any particular printing office. 

Cut away. — To lower or cut away any particular part in a 

making-ready sheet. 
Cut do'wn. — An expression used when paper is out from one 

size to another. 
Cut edges. — A book which has been cut all round is said to 

have cut edges. 
Cut formes. — ^Formes of illustrations, in contradistinction to 

ordinary formes of type or bookwork. 
Cut-in letter. — A two-line or larger letter inserted at the 

commencement of a chapter. 
Cut-in notes. — Side-notes which are inserted within the text 

at the side, instead of in the margin. 


Cut out. — To cut out an overlay, or cut away in a making- 
ready sheet. 

Cut size. — An indefinite or irregular size, not a recognized 
size of paper. 

Cut the line. — Cbmpanionships " cut the line," i.e. cease 
work, when there is insufficient to keep the whole " ship " going. 

Cut up. — A warehouse expression for cutting up paper to cer- 
tain sizes, such as used for jobs, i.e. 8vo, 4to, etc. 

Cuts. — This is a colloquial expression for an illustration of any 
kind — electrotype, woodcut, or zincograph. 

Cutter. — The person in the warehouse who does the cutting. 

Cutting-out knife. — A sharp-pointed knife used in making 

♦Cutting the frisket. — To cut the printing portions of a 
forme out of the frisket. 

Cylinder bearers. — The sides of the coffin or bed of the 
machine, made of hard wood, type-high. 

Cylinder galley press. — A small press for pulling galley 
proofs by means of a heavy roller or cylinder pushed along 
by hand. 

Cylinder machine. — A printing machine giving the impres- 
sion by a cylinder instead of a platen. 

Cylinder sheets. — The sheets pasted upon the cylinder 
which form the foundation of the making-ready. 

Cylindrical ink table. — An ink table which revolves by a 
handle, and thus gives the ink to the roller, instead of braying 
out by the tool for the purpose. 

Is the third signature of the printer's alphabet. 

AGGKR. — ^A mark of reference used for foot- 
notes, thus f 
Damper. — A door placed in the flue from the 
furnace to the upright shaft to regulate the 
*Dances. — An old expression applied when the spaces or 

quadrats rise in printing. 
Dandy. — The wire frame or mould on which paper is made. 
Dash. — A mark used in punctuation, thus — technicaUj called 

metal rule. 
Dead languages. — The classical languages, which are not 

now generally spoken. 
Decimo-sexto. — The bibliographical term for sixteenmo — 

written shortly, 16mo. 
Deckle. — The raw, rough edge of paper in hand-mades is thus 

*Dele. — To omit or expunge, indicated thus B It is derived 

from the Latin. 
Demy. — A size of printing paper, 22|- x 17i inches; writing 

paper, 20 x 15i inches. 
♦Descending letters. — These are all those letters with 

down sti-okes, thus — p q y, etc. 
*Devil, printer's. — An odd lad for errands and other jobs — 
sometimes the junior apprentice is thus called. 


Dextrine. — A cheap substitute for gum. 
*Diaeresis. — An accent mark over letters, thus — a e i 6 ii 
Diamond. — The type one size larger than Gem, and one 
size smaller than Pearl — equal to half a Bourgeois in body. 

Dictionary matter. — A class of composition which has a 

special price. 
Die stamping. — The art of stamping in relief, as used for 

note paper or envelopes. 
*Direction. — The corner word in the white line to indicate the 

first word on next page. See " Catchword." 

*Direction line. — The bottom line in a page containing the 

Dirty proof. — A proof-sheet with many corrections due to 

careless composition. 
Display work. — Type displayed, such as titles, headings, 

and jobbing work, is thus termed to distinguish it from ordinary 

solid composition. 
♦Distribute. — To replace the type in cases after printing. 

See " Dis." 
Dis. — Abbreviation of the word "distribute." 
Distributing rollers. — The rollers which take the ink from 

the vibrator communicating with the ductor. The rollers 

have a diagonal movement, and distribute the ink on the 

table. They are sometimes called " wavers." 
Divide. — To separate a word at the end of a line with a 

♦Division. — See " Divide." 
*Divisorium. — An article used for holding copy on the case, 

which win allow of the copy being adjusted line by line to 

avoid " outs" or " doubles." See " Visorum." 

Do up. — A general term for folding, stitching, and wrappering, 
or binding in cloth. 

Doc. — A slang term for the weekly bill, evidently a curtailment 
of " document." 


Dog's-eared. — When the corners of a ream of paper are 
curled or knocked up. 

Dollar mark. — A sign used in American currency, thus $ 

Donkey engine. — A small and subsidiary engine apart from 
the main one. 

Donkeys. — Compositors were at one period thus styled by 
pressmen in retaliation for being called " pigs " by them. 

Doric fount. — A particular kind of sans-serif type used for 
display work. 

Dotted figures. — Special figures cast with a dot above — i 2 
3 etc. 

Dotted letters. — Special letters cast with a dot above, thus — 
a e i 6 u etc. 

Dotted quadrats. — Dots or full-points cast on quadrats, 

generally called " leaders," thus used for contents or 

table matter to run out to figures. 

Dotted rule. — Brass rule with the face dotted, used for 
filling up blanks, receipt forms, etc., and to serve as a guide 
for writing on, thus 

^Double. — Words repeated in composition by error, necessi- 
tating overrunning; also used by pressmen when a sheet is 
pulled twice or maokled. 

Double broad. — Furniture eight picas in width — double the 
width of " broad." 

Double cases. — Cases specially made upper and lower case 
in one, used for small jobbing founts. 

Double columns. — Matter set in two columns. 

Double crown. — A size of printing paper, 30 X 20 inches. 

Double dagger^ — A reference mark for foot-notes, thus J 

Double demy. — A size of printing paper, 35 X 22i inches. 

Double foolscap. — A size of printing paper, 27 X 17 
inches; writing paper, 26^ X 16|- inches. 


Double four pound. — A size of brown paper, 31 X 22 

Double frame. — A frame to hold two pairs of cases up at 

one time. 
Double imperial. — A size of printing paper, 44 X 30 


Double imperial cap. — A size of brown paper, 44 x 29 

Double large cards. — A size of jobbing card, cut 6 x 4i 

Double large post, — A size of writing paper, 33 X 21 

* Double letters. — Diphthongs and old-face letters, se, oe, ft, 
£i., etc., are thus called. 

Double medium. — A size of printing paper, 38 x 24 

Double narrow. — Furniture six picas in width — double the 
width of a narrow. 

•Double pica. — The name of a fount one size larger than 
Paragon, and one size smaller than Two -line Pica — its body is 
two Small Picas in depth. 

Double pica reglet. — Wooden ftimiture of that depth in 

Double post. — A size of printing paper, usually 32 X 20 

Double pott. — A size of printing paper, 25i x 17 inches. 

Double rolling. — The action of twice roUing a forme in 
printing by means of a throw-off impression in a machine. 

Double royal. — A size of printing paper, 40 x 25 inches. 
Double rule. — Rules which are cast with two lines on the 
face — both in brass and in type metal. 

Double small cards — A size of jobbing card, cut 3i x 5 


Double small post. — A size of writing paper, 30i X 19 

Double super royal. — A size of printing paper, 41 x 27^ 

Drachm mark. — A medical sign, thus 3 

Drag. — ^When a shake or slur is on a printed sheet it is said 
to " drag." 

Draw.^When through bad justification the letters draw out 
on the roller in inking the forme. 

Drawing. — Lifting lines from a page or forme for a second 
printing in another colour — the blank space being filled with 
its equivalent. 

Drawing paper. — A paper, generally hand-made, manufac- 
tured of the finest material and well sized. 

Drawing paper reams. — These papers are usually done 
up 472 sheets to a mill ream, with outsides — if all good sheets, 
that is insides, 480. 

Drawn sheets. — Used to indicate sheets drawn in collating 
gathered books, through carelessness in gathering two or 
three sheets at a time instead of one. 

*Dress a forme. — To put furniture round and quoin up a 
forme, preparatory to pulling a proof. 

♦Dressing block. — An obsolete term for the present planer. 

*Driers. — A preparation used for increasing the drying pro- 
perties of inks. 

Dripping pan. — A tin tray under the ribs of the press to 
catch the surplus oil. 

*Drive out. — To widely space matter. See " Get in." 

Driving band. — The strap or band which imparts motion to 
a machine. 

Driving shaft. — The shaft which imparts motion, through the 
medium of the strap, to a machine. 


Dropped head. — Chapter or first pages driven down at 
the top are thus called. 

Dropping out. — When, owing to long standing or the pre- 
valence of hot weather, the quoins of a forme get loose and 
the pages drop out of the chase. 

Drum. — Another term for the "cylinder" of a printing 

Dry up. — A slang term for leaving oflf work or leaving a situa- 

Dryden machine. — A perfecting printing machine manu- 
factured by a firm of that name. 

Duck's bill. — A substitute for pins in a tympan, made by 
cutting a tongue in a piece of thick paper or card. 

Ductor. — A reservoir which holds the ink in a printing machine, 
the supply from it being regulated for each impression. 

Duct. — Abbreviation of the word " ductor." 

Ductor keys. — Screws placed in the ductor to regulate the 
amount of ink to be given to each impression. 

Ductor knife. — The long thin plate which regulates the 
amount of ink given out for every impression. 

Duodecimo. — Commonly called twelvemo, a sheet of paper 
folded into twelve leaves, written shortly, 12mo. 

Duplex cards. — Pasteboards, the two surfaces of different 

Duplex paper. — Paper with the two sides of different 
colours, made by colouring each side separately. 

Dutch papers. — Van Gelder's handmade paper of various 
sizes, made in Holland. 

Dwell. — The stationary period while a sheet is being im- 
pressed on the type or forme — a long " dwell " is a good point 
in a machine. 


Is the fourth signature of the printer's alphabet. 

AR of the frisket.* — The thumb-piece used 
in turning down the frisket on the tympan. 

*Kasy pull. — A soft or easy pull over of the 
handle of a press. 

Eccentric motion. — A movement of irregular 
action which acts on a certain part of a machine at a particular 
moment in an evolution. 

Ecclesiastic. — A particular fount of type of black letter or 
church text character. 

Edges bevelled. — Cards or book-covers with the edges 
bevelled to any degree. 

Edges cut. — A book or pamphlet cut down sufficiently to 
make all the edges quite smooth. 

Edges gilt. — Book edges cut and gilded. 

Edges opened. — A book or pamphlet opened with a paper 

knife by hand. 
Edges red. — Book edges cut and coloured red. 
Edges rounded. — Books are sometimes bound with the 

corners rounded to prevent them becoming " dog's-eared." 
Edges trimmed. — A book or pamphlet with the edges just 

cut to make them tidy, but not sufficiently to open the leaves. 
Edges untouched. — A book or pamphlet with edges uncut 

or unopened. 


edition de luxe. — French colloquialism for the large paper 
editions issued of first-class books. 

Egyptian. — A fat and ugly-faced kind of type. There is 
nowadays a larger and more graceful selection of these fancy 
types to be chosen from. 

*EighteenniO. — A sheet folded into eighteen leaves. See 
" Octodecimo," written shortly, 18mo. 

Eighteenmo chases. — Chases with the cross-bars divided 
into four unequal sections to allow of the oflT-cut. 

*EightS. — A familiar term used by compositors for octavo. 

Eight to pica brass. — Brass rule cast eight to a pica in 

Eight to pica leads. — Leads cast eight to a pica ; also 
called "thin" leads. 

Elbow point. — Press points made upon an elbow for con- 
venience in pointing twelve or eighteenmo works. 

Electrotyping. — The art of duplicating woodcuts, etc., by a 
thin galvanic deposit of copper, afterwards backed up by 
ordinary metal similar to that used by type, but not so hard. 

Elephant. — A size of printmg paper, 30 x 23 inches; 
writing or drawing paper, 28 X 23 inches ; brown paper, 34 
X 24 inches. 

Elongated. — A thin and condensed form of fancy display 

Elzevirs. — A class of books named after the eminent Dutch 
printers of the seventeenth century. 

*Em quads. — A quadrat cast one em square to any particular 

Em rules. — Rules cast on an em of any particular body — a 
dash, or metal rule. 

Embossed printing. — Raised printing instead of the 
ordinary indented printing — such as die stamping. 


Embossing press. — A machine for raised or embossed 

Emerald. — The name of a fount one size larger than Non- 
pareil and one size smaller than Minion — equal to half an 
English in body. 

Emery cloth. — Used for burnishing the bright parts of 

Emperor. — A size of writing or drawing paper, 72 x 48 

Empire machine. — A small platen machine made by 
Messrs. Powell and Co. 

*Emptied. — When a composing stick or galley is full, and the 
type is lifted out of the stick or off the galley, it is said to be 

*Empty case. — A case with the type nearly all set out. 

*Empty press. — An unemployed press — that is, one standing 

*En quads. — Spaces two to an em of any particular body. 

En rules. — Rules cast on an en of any particular body. 

Enamelled cards. — Cards made with a very high surface 
by being enamelled on one or both sides. 

Enamelled paper. — Paper with a specially prepared sur- 

Encircled corrections. — Special or "after" corrections 
made in a proof, and encircled in order to distinguish them 
from the corrections first made. 

End at a break. — To finish in composing at the end of a 

End even. — To finish off copy in composing at the end of a 
line — a plan adopted in order to expedite composition by 
giving out short " takes." 

End leaves. — The blank flyleaves at either end of a book. 

End papers. — See "End leaves." 


Endless paper. — Paper in reels — not in sheets — used for 
printing on rotary machines. 

Endorse. — The outside endorsement of a prospectus or legal 
docimient, when folded. 

Engine-sized paper. — Paper sized in process of manufac- 
ture, distinct from hand or tub-sized. 

*English. — The name of a type one size larger than Pica and 
one size smaller than Great Primer — equal to two Emeralds 
in body. 

•English face. — An old term for Old English or black letter. 

Equal mark. — A sign used in arithmetic, thus = 

Equivalent weights of paper. — The diiference in weight 
between two sizes to compensate for a larger or smaller 

Errata. — A number of mistakes usually printed on a small 
slip and pasted in by the bookbinder. The word is the 
Latin equivalent for " errors." 

Erratum. — The singular of " errata." 

Errors. — Blunders in composition, or marks of corrections in 

Establishment. — A workman on weekly wages is said to 
be on the " establishment." See " 'Stab." 

Even folios. — The pagination of left-hand pages, — 2, 4, 6, 8, 
10, etc. are said to be " even folios." 

*Even pages. — The even numbers in paging, or left-hand 
pages of a work. See " Even folios." 

Exhaust pipe. — The pipe which conveys away the waste 

Exhaust Steam. — Waste or spent steam is thus termed. 

Expanded. — A fancy type of extended character — the reverse 
of condensed. 


Kxtended. — Another term for expanded letter. 

Kxtras. — The charges involved on composition over and 
above the fixed price per sheet of the text type, generally 
charged at the end of a work. 

Kyletting machine. — A machine for punching and inserting 
the eylets in showcards, etc. 

Is the fifth signature of the printer's alphabet. 

ACE of a letter.* — The surface of a letter — 
that which is imprinted on the paper. 

Faced rule. — Brass rule with the ordinary 
thin face somewhat thickened. 

Facsimile. — To imitate exactly in reprinting — 
applied generally to reprints of old works. 

Facsim. — Abbreviation of the word "facsimile." 

Fair offices. — A term applied to those printing offices where 
the recognized scale of prices is paid. 

Falling out. — The quoins of formes which have been long 
standing in chase are apt to shrink, especially in hot weather, 
and cause the type to " fall out." 

Fancy rules. — Rules other than plain ones of various de- 
signs — some short, as used between sections, and border rules. 

Fancy types. — Founts of type of various kinds used for 
jobbing purposes. 

Fanning. — In order to count paper it is necessary to open 
the edges by grasping with the thumb and forefinger two or 
three quires, and to turn the same over by a sharp turn of the 

*Fat. — Well-leaded, open, or good paying work for piece hands. 
Sometimes vulgarly called " grease." 

*Fat face. — A broad or fat-faced character of type. 

hb] PBINTI:RS' vocabulary. 43 

*Father of the chapel The person who presides at the 

printers' chapel. 

Father — Short term for " father of the chapel." 

Feed pipe. — The pipe which feeds the boiler with water direct 
from the cistern. 

Feeder. — The lad who lays on the sheets in a printing 

*Feet of a press. — The bottom of the legs of a press resting 
on the ground. . 

Feint ruling. — Very light and thin lines used in account 

Fellow-comp. — A term of fellowship applied by one com- 
positor to another. 

Fellow- P. — Apprentices to the same firm or master. 

Fence. — ^A guard or railing round dangerous machinery or 

Filigree letter. — An initial letter with a filigree background. 

Filling in. — Putting the sheets, after printing and drying, be- 
tween glazed boards previous to pressing. 

Fine presswork. — A term applied to the better class of 
handwork in printing. 

Fingers. — The grippers which hold the paper in printing on a 

Fire bars. — The bars which form the bottom of a furnace. 
They are renewable when worn out by the heat. 

Fire door. — The door of a furnace to a boiler. 

Fire eater. — An old term for a rapid setter of type. 

Firing. — A press or machine is said to be " firing " when fric- 
tion is caused from want of lubrication. 

*First. — The senior or leading partner of the two men who 
work at a hand-press. 


*First forme. — The inner or outer of a forme — whichever is 
printed off first. 

*First page. — The outside or first page of any printed sheet- 
that which contains the signature. 

First proof. — The first pull of a forme after composing, 
which is read for the first time by the copy. See " Foul proof." 

Fist. — A slang expression for an index mark, thus ^' 
sometimes called " mutton-fist." 

Five-em spaces. — " Thin " spaces, cast five to the em of any 
particular body. 

Flat. — An expression used to indicate excessive flatness in an 
illustration owing to want of light and shade in overlaying. 

Flat paper. — Paper sent in in reams not folded or quired. 

Flat pull (or impression). — A simple proof without under 
or overlaying. 

Flexible. — A term used in giving directions to a binder for 
sewing or binding in that style. 

Flies. — Automatic takers-off on a machine ; sometimes called 
" flyers." 

Flimsy. — Thin paper, such as bank paper, telegraph forms, 
etc., is thus termed in printers' slang. 

Flong. — The prepared paper used for making the moulds for 
casting stereo by the paper process. 

*Flowers. — Floral ornaments used for borders, etc. 

Fly. — The taker-oflTon a machine is sometimes thus termed. 

*Fly. — Printer's devils were sometimes thus called. 

Flyleaf. — A blank leaf not printed on. 

Fly-title. — The half-title in front of the general title, or 
which divides sections of a work. 

Fly-wheel. — A wheel which gives impetus to an engine or 

Flyers. — Taking-off apparatus attached to a prmting machine. 


Flying a frisket. — The process of turning up or down the 
tympan when printing at a hand-press. 

*Folio. — A sheet of paper folded in two leaves only. 

Fol. — Abbreviation for the word "folio" frequently used by 
booksellers in their catalogues. 

Folio chase. — A chase with one bar only. 

*Folios. — This term is applied to the enumeration of pages. 

Folded paper. — Paper which is done up in reams folded in 
half, or quired — not flat. 

Folder. — The bone implement used for folding in the ware- 

Folders. — The hands in a warehouse who do the folding. 

Folding chases. — Chases made in pairs or quadruple for 
facilitating the printing of large sheets, such as newspapers, 
on a machine. 

Folding stick. — The bone stick used in folding. See 
" Folder." 

*Follow. — To see that sheets in a gathered book are in 
sequence. Also used in other departments — by a compositor 
to see that copy " follows," or a pressman in perfecting to see 
that his folios " follow." 

Followers. — The following sheets after a heading — such as the 

ordinary plain-ruled paper used after the title-head of a long 

Foolscap. — A size of printing paper, 17 X 13J inches; 

writing paper, 16J X 13^ inches. 
*Foot of a letter. — The bottom of the shank of a type ; 

usually grooved to prevent it wearing roimd. 
*Foot of the page. — The bottom portion of a page. 
*Footline. — The bottom line in a page. 
♦Footstep. — The inclined footstool the pressman puts his foot 

on when pulling the bar over. 


*FootStick. — A bevelled stick put at the bottom of a page or 
pages to quoin up against. See " Sidestick." 

Fore-edge. — The outer side edge of a book, distinct from head 
or tail, when folded. 

Forestay of press. — The leg which supports the frame or 
ribs of a hand-press. 

Forks. — Receptacles which hold the spindles of machine rollers. 
Forme (or *form). — Pages of type when imposed in a chase 
constitute a " forme." 

Forme carriage. — A small trolley on two wheels for mov- 
ing formes about. 

Forme gauge. — Gauge used for measuring margins of formes. 

Forme hook. — A hook used for fishing smaU formes out of 
the lye trough. 

Forme lift. — ^A lift to carry formes from floor to floor. 

Forme racks. — Racks made for holding formes in a per- 
pendicular position. 
Forme trolley. — See "Forme carriage." 

Fortnight. — A familiar term amongst printers to express 
notice to leave a situation — a fortnight's notice being the 
recognized custom on either side. 

Forty-eightmo. — A sheet of paper folded into forty-eight 
leaves — written shortly, 48mo. 

Fortymo. — A sheet of paper folded into forty leaves — written 
shortly, 40mo. 

*Foul proof. — ^A proof distinct from a clean proof. 

Foul Stone. — K type or tools are left on the stone or im- 
posing surface. See " Clear the stone." 

*Founder. — Short term for the letter or type-founder. 

Foundry chases. — Small chases used for imposing pages 
in convenient quantities for stereotyping or electrotyping. 

Foundry clumps. — Pieces of metal type-high placed round 
pages chiefly to form the bevel of the plate when cast. 


Foundry proof. — The final proof before stereotyping or 
electro^ping which is generally supplied to the foundry. 

*Fount. — This term is applied to the whole number of letters 
constituting a complete fount of any particular class of face or 

Fount case rack. — Large racks made specially for holding 
these cases in. 

Fount cases — Cases of a larger kind than usual, for holding 
surplus sorts. 

*Fount of letter. — A complete fount of type consists of 
capitals, small capitals, lower-case, figures, accents, points, 
spaces, etc. 

Fount of type. — See "Fount of letter." 

Four-em braces. — Braces cast on four ems of. any par- 
ticular body. 

Four-em quads. — Large quadrats cast to four ems of any 
particular body. 

Four-em spaces. — "Middling" spaces, cast four to the em 
of any particular body. 

Four on. — An expression used in jobbing work where the job 
is printed quadruple to economize working. 

Four set. — See " Four on." 

Fours. — A familiar term used by compositors for " quarto." 

Fourteen-to-pica leads. — Very thin leads cast fourteen to 
a pica. 

Four to pica brass. — Brass rule made four to a pica in 

Four to pica leads. — Leads cast four to a pica — ^generally 
called " thick leads." 

Foxed. — Paper or books stained or mouldy are said to be 

F. p. — Abbreviation for " fine paper," that is, a better edition. 


Fractions. — Fractional figures cast on single types. They 
are sometimes cast on half bodies, and then called "split 

Fractur. — German expression for their text or black letter 

Fragments. — The odd pages at the commencement and end 
of a work — now usually called " oddments." 

*Frame. — The wooden stand on which cases are placed to com- 
pose from, and usually made with racks in which to place cases. 

Frame bed. — The shelf at the lower portion of the frame. 

Frame d^a^wer. — A drawer attached to the frame to hold 
copy, etc. 

Frame rack. — A rack attached to the frame for cases not in 
immediate use. 

Franklin press. — An American small jobbing platen machine. 

French metal blocks. — The metal mounting cores or risers 
used for stereotype plates. 

French metal furniture. — Metal furniture used in place of 
wooden — originally a French idea. 

French pins. — Small wire nails or brads used for fastening 
plates to blocks. 

French rules. — Short ornamental rules of either brass or 
type metal are generally thus designated. 

French stereo blocks. — See "French metal blocks." 

French type. — The nicks on these founts are placed on the 
back instead of the front. 

Frenchman. — A perfecting machine originally of French 
make, but improved by English manufacturers, and now 
called Anglo-French machine. 

Fresh paragraph. — To begin a fresh sentence at the com- 
mencement of a line by indentation. 

Fresh rollers. — Kellers when too new are said to be "fresh." 


Fret. — When rollers crack or peel they are said to " fret." 

*Friar. — A light or broken patch in a printed sheet. 

*Frisket. — A thin iron frame joined to the tympan. Its 
object is to prevent the sheet being dirtied or blackened, by 
pasting a sheet over the frame and cutting out only the parts 
to be printed. 

Frisket button. — A button on the sides of the tympan. 

*Frisket joints. — The parts which connect, usually with a 
pin, the frisket to the tympan. 

*Frisket pins. — The pins which fasten the frisket to the 

*Frisket stay. — A wooden stop fastened to the ceiling to pre- 
vent the frisket flying too far back. 

'Front marks. — The lay marks on the board nearest the 

Frontispiece. — The illusti-ation facing the title-page of a 

*Frozen out. — An old term used when the workmen were 
hindered working through extreme cold. This is now obviated 
by warming the oflSces with steam or hot water. 

Fudge. — To make shift with anything — a botch. 

Fugitive colours. — A class of coloured inks which are not 
permanent in tone, and change or fade on exposure. 

Full bound. — A term sometimes used to define a book wholly 
bound in leather. 

*Full case. — A case well filled with type. 

Full colour. — When ample ink has been used in printing. 

Full-faced letter. — A fount of capitals which has no beard 
on the top of the shank, occupying the whole depth of the 

*Full forme. — A forme distinct from a " broken," or one 
with blank pages in. 


Full frame. — A compositor in a regular situation is said to 
have a " full frame." 

Full measure. — Type composed the full width, and not in 
half measure or columns. 

*Full page. — A page distinct from a short one. 

Full point. — Technical name for a period or " full stop '' — a 
mark of punctuation. 

Full. — Short term used in the reading department for " fiiU- 
poinf'or "full-stop." 

*Full press. — ^When two men work at a press as partners. 

Full stop. — A mark of punctuation, technically called a " lull 

*Furniture. — The wood used in making margin for a printed 
sheet, the thinner kind being usually called " Reglet." Some- 
times French metal ftirniture is used. 

Furniture (Sizes of). — Double broad, double narrow, 
broad, narrow, etc. 

Furniture gauge. — The gauge used in measuring the 
furniture of a forme before sending it to press. 

Is the sixth signature of the printer's alphabet. 

ALLK Y.* — These are wooden or zinc receptacles 
for holding type before making-up into pages. 

Galley press. — A small hand-press for pulling 
proofs in slip form — sometimes of cylindrical 

Galley rack. — Receptacles for gaUeys. 

*Galley slaves. — An old term applied to compositors — the 
reason being obvious. 

Galley sticks. — Long side-sticks used for quoining up 

*Gallows. — A frame used for supporting the tympans of the 
old wooden presses when turned up. 

*Garter of press. — A part of the old wooden press used in 
connection with the bar-handle in raising the platen after an 
impression was taken. 

Gas engine. — A motor propelled by gas of different man or 
horse powers. 

Gather corrections. — For facilitating corrections in a 
forme, eompositors collect in their fingers the various and 
necessary letters required for the alterations. 

*Gathering. — When a volume is wholly printed off, the sheets 
after drying and pressing are gathered in single copies of com- 
plete books ,' in half-sheet work there would be two copies on. 


Gathering table. — A table, usually arranged horse-shoe 
shape, where the different sheets of a volume are laid down 
for gathering into books. Circular revolving tables are some- 
times used, the gatherer standing in one position and taking 
a sheet off as the table revolves. 

Gauge. — A gauge to regulate length of page or margins. See 
" Page gauge," and " Furniture gauge." 

Gauge glasses. — The glass tubes on the front of boilers to 
indicate the height of the water in the boiler. 

Gem. — A size of type one size larger than Brilliant and one 
size smaller than Diamond. 

Gentlemen's card. — A size of card, 3x1^ inches^ Also 
called " thirds " (a third of a " large " card). 

Geometrical signs. — Special characters relating to geometry. 

German. — The particular character of type — somewhat similar 

to black letter — used for composing books in the German 

language. See " Practur." 

German cases. — These are cases of a sp/ecial lay for founts 
used in composing this language. 

German-silver sticks. — Composing sticks are sometimes 
made of this alloy. 

Get in. — To set matter closely spaced. 

*GetS in. — A term used when matter makes less than antici-. 

Get up. — This is an expression used as an order, i.e. to "get 

up " or compose certain copy. 
G. H. — Is a printer's slang term to express his previous know- 
ledge of a fact. 
G. I. — A printer's slang expression for "general indulgence," 

such as celebrating a birthday or an apprentice " coming out 

of his time." 
Gill's machine. — A hot-rolling machine much used at the 

present time for drying and pressing work as it is printed off — 

thus greatly expediting delivery. 


Gilt edges. — Books or cards with gilded edges are thus 

Gilt tops. — Books usually on hand-made paper are sometimes 
bound with the top edges cut and gilt, thus preventing them 
being soiled by the dust that would otherwise collect if they 
were left rough. 

*Girth wheel. — The drum on which the girthing winds in the 
running in or out of the press carriage. 

*Girthing. — A kind of webbing regulating the runtung in and 
out of the carriage of a press. 

Glazed boards. — Millboards, very hard and highly rolled, 
used for pressing printed sheets in the warehouse. 

Gloss inks. — Inks of various colours having a very glossy 

appearance when dry. 
G. M. — A slang abbreviation for "general manager' of a 

printing office. 
Gods. — The nine quadrats used in throwing or "jeffing" by 


Gold bronze. — Very fine powder used in gold-printing. It 
is dusted on after the forme is printed with a preparation 
specially made for the purpose. 

Gold edges. — Another term for " Gilt edges,'' which see. 

Gold leaf. — Gold beaten into very thin leaves — occasionally 

used for printing purposes, but more particularly for the 

decoration of book covers. 
Gold printing. — In letterpress printing any work executed in 

gold by the bronze process. 
Good colour. — When the ink is properly applied to a sheet 

— neither too much nor too little — but of a good and even 

*Good copy. — Plain, legible, and straightforward MS. or 

reprint. Applied to " fat" copy also. 
Good matter. — Composed type not printed, or ordered to be 

kept standing with a view to reprinting. 


*Good of the chapel. — Fines and dues wliicli are collected 
for the chapel ftind — to be disbursed as voted by the chapel. 
'Goose. — Printers' abbreviation for " wayzgoose," or beanfeast. 

Gordon press. — A small treadle platen machine made by 
Messrs. Powell and Son. 

Got up. — An expression used to indicate that type is all used 
or copy is all composed. 

Gothic. — An antique character of type similar to black letter. 

Governor. — A synonym for the master or head of the estab- 

Governor of engine. — The two balls on an engine which 

check the supply of steam to the cylinder. 
Grammar matter. — This is a class of composition paid for 

by a particular scale of prices. 

'Graph processes. — The different kinds of priating from a 
transfer laid on gelatine or glue, such as the " papyrograph." 

Graphic machine. — A single cylinder machine so named 
because first used for the " Graphic " newspaper. 

Grass hand. — A compositor temporarily engaged — a practice 
common in newspaper offices. 

Grassing. — A compositor taking occasional jobs, or assisting 
on a newspaper. 

*Grave accent. — A sign over a letter, thus k 

Grease. — A slang expression for the more technical one of 
"fat," i.e. good work. 

*Great numbers. — Long working numbers in printing were 
thus called. 

*Great Primer, — A size of type one size larger than Enghsh 
and one size smaller than Paragon, equalling two Bourgeois. 

Great Primer reglet. — Wooden furniture of that depth in 

*Greek. — The particular character of type used for works in 
the Greek language. 

gut] PRINTEES' vocabulary. 55 

Greek cases. — These are cases of special lay for composing 
works in that language — the upper case being especially com- 
plicated by reason of the many accents required. 

Gripper. — The fingers which grip a sheet in printing on a 

Gripper machines. — Machines which use fingers or grippers 
for laying on the sheets, in contradistinction to machines with 
other contrivances for laying on, such as the " Web." 

Groove. — The groove in the short bar of a chase to allow of 
the pointing of a sheet at press. 

Guard. — The fence or railing round a dangerous piece of 

Guard. — A narrow strip sewn or turned in in a book for 
mounting plates or maps on. 

Guarded. — ^Books are said to be " guarded " when the plates 
are mounted or sewn on guards instead of being stitched or 
pasted in the ordinary way. 

Guillotine cutting machine. — A machine made for 
cutting paper on the " Guillotine" principle. 

Gull. — If points are blunt or thick and tear the point-hole 
on the sheet, they are said to be " gulled." 

Gummed paper. — ^Paper in various colours or sizes ready 
gummed is sold by most stationers. 

Gun-metal shooting stick. — Locking-up sticks are some- 
times tipped with gun-metal to render them more durable. 

Gutter. — The " back " margin or fdrniture of a sheet. This is 
the part of a sheet which when folded falls in the back of the 

*Gutter sticks. — An old term for the back or gutter furniture. 


Is the seventh signature of the printer's alphabet. 

AIR leads. — Very thin leads — mostly sixteen 
to a pica — rarely used nowadays. 

Hair-line letter. — Very thin-faced type, 
generally used for letterings of mounts. 

Hair spaces. — Very thin spaces, used mostly 
for spacing out the letters in headlines of pages. 

Half bound. — Books partly bound in leather, with cloth or 
paper sides. 

Half cases. — Small cases used for jobbing purposes. 

Half frame. — Small composing frames made to hold one pair 
of cases only. 

Half large cards. — A size of cai-d, 3 x 2^ inches. 

Half plate paper. — Machine-made paper of fine and soft 
texture used for woodcuts. 

*Half press. — When instead of two one man only is working 
at a press. 

*Half-sheet. — Book-work is sometimes printed in "half- 
sheet " fashion. When thus printed there are two copies on 
one sheet. 

Half tints. — A term applied to the parts of an illustration of 
partial depth. 

Half-title. — The sub-title in front of the full title. 


*Hammer. — The tool used by pressmen or machine-minders 
for locking-up the formes on the bed or coffin. 

Hammering. — A slang term used to express the overcharg- 
ing of work done, especially when on time work. 

Hand. — This term is applied to press work in contradistinc- 
tion to machine work. 

Handbills. — A common class of jobbing work which comprises 
circulars or letters. 

*Handle. — AppHed to both the " bar " and " rounce." handle. 

Hand-made paper. — Paper made entirely by hand — a slow 
and tedious process — Hsed chiefly for editions de luxe. 

Hand-made reams. — These generally run 480 sheets to a 
ream — occasionally 500, or even 516. 

Hand roller; — Applied to the press roUer used by machine- 
minders in pulling a proof to obviate running up colour with 
the machine rollers. 

Hang it out. — A slang expression used by printers to denote 

Hang off. — A slang term sometimes used by printers to 
express avoidance or indifference. 

Hang up. — To hang printed work upon poles for drying. 

Hanger. — An iron bracket attached to the ceiling to hold 

Hanging galley. — A small galley with hooks to hang on the 
upper case. 

*HangS. — Type is said to hang when it is not squarely locked- 
up and the corners droop. It is also caused by pages being 
improperly gauged. 

Hard impression. — Too much "puU" on the forme, but 
sometimes necessary for certain classes of work by reason of 
paper, etc. 

Hard ink. — Ink when too much boiled is thus designated. 


Hard packing. — An American system of making ready for 

printing dry paper. 
Hard paper. — Paper of hard texture, diflFerent from plate 

paper or " soft " paper. 

*Hard pull. — When the bar of the press goes stiffly it is said 
to be a hard pull. 

Hard sized paper. — Paper more than ordinarily sized — 
writing papers are thus made. 

Hatton. machine. — A small treadle platen machine made 
by Messrs. J. Richmond and Co. 

Haven cap. — A size of brown paper, 26 X 21 inches. 

*Head. — The top part of a press, or the top part of a page. 

^Headline. — The top line or heading of the which runs 
throughout the book. 

Head page. — The first or "dropped" page of a book, or a 
chapter or section thereof. 

Headpieces. — Ornamental headings to pages, placed at the 
commencement of a book or chapter. 

Head rule. — The rule sometimes used after a headline. 

Heading chases. — Oblong chases used for imposing the 
headings of account books, etc. 

Heads. — A term applied to the margin of books at the top of 
the page. 

*Headsticks. — An old term for the head ftirniture. 

*Heap. — A working or pile of paper, printed or not printed. 

*Hebrew. — The particular character of type used for compos- 
ing books in that language. 

Hebrew cases. — Cases of special lay used for composing 
books in that language. 

*Height to paper. — A general expression to denote the 
height of type. French type is slightly higher than English, 
consequently its " height to paper " is greater. "Worn type is 
" low to paper." 


Hell box. — A receptacle for battered or broken letters — in 

olden times a boot was used. 
Herculean rule cutter. — A small but very strong cutting 

machine for riJes or leads. 
*High. — Type or blocks which stand higher than the rest of the 

forme. New type would stand higher than that worn. 
High quadrats. — See " High spaces." 
High spaces. — Spaces specially cast nearly type-high. They 

are used in plaster stereotyping mostly for cleanliness. 
*Hind parts of press. — The supports at the end of the ribs 

which hold that part up. 
*Hither cheek. — The side of the cheek which is nearest the 

pressman as he works. 
Hoarding sorts. — To hide any particular or scarce letter of 

a fount in use. 
Hoe machines. — Machines of various patterns made by 

Messrs. Hoe and Co. of New York. 
Hoe platen machine. — A machine made by Messrs. Hoe 

and Co. of New York. 
*Holds out. — A term used if paper or type is of ample quantity. 
*Hole. — ^An ancient term for a private or unlicensed printing 

Holyrood paper. — A particular kind of laid writing paper. 
Hook down. — The end of a line turned over, and bracketed 

in the line below. 
Hook in. — In almanack matter, etc., when the words are too 

many to come into the line they are hooked up or down. 
Hook up. — The end of a line turned over, and bracketed in 

the line above. 
Horizontal engine. — A motor the reverse of a vertical 

Hornbeam. — A very hard wood used for bearers, etc. 
*Horse.— An inclined stage set .on the bank to hold the heap 

which has to be printed. 


*Horse. — A slang expression for charging on account of work 

in hand but not finished. 
*Horseflesh. — An old expression for the more modern one of 

" horse," which see. 
Horse-power. — The driving power of engines is determined 

by horse-power. 

*Horses. — Pressmen were thus called, on account of the 
arduous and exhausting character of their labour. 

Hot pressing. — A mode of pressing by means of hot plates 
laid at intervals between the ordinary pressing boards, and 
placed in a powerful press. 

Hot rolling. — A mode of rolling by means of heated rollers 
which both dry and press the work at the same time. 

Hours. — Compositors reckon their lines when working in com- 
panionships by " hours," according to the size of the type and 
its measure. 

* Hours. — Pressmen count their work in tokens of 250 pulls as 

House. — A term applied to a firm or establishment. See 
" The house." 

House marks. — Corrections in proofs which the piece-hand 
is not expected to execute. 

Hundred and twenty-eightmo. — Book-work of a small 
size — any sheet that could be folded into 128 leaves — written 
shortly, 128mo. 

Hydraulic press. — Presses in which the power is applied by 
means of water pressure. 

Hyphen. — A mark [-] used for dividing words at the end of a 
line, or for compounding words. 

Is the eighth signature of the printer's alphabet. 

MITATION parchment.— Paper chemically 
treated so as to resemble parchment. 

Imitation vellum. — A prepared paper made 
to resemble vellmn ; made from the Japanese 
vellum paper. 

Imperfect paper. — Reams of paper not made up to the fall 
number of a printer's ream, i.e. 516 sheets. Hand-made, 
drawing, and writing papers are generally imperfect, and run 
472, 480, or 500 sheets to the ream. 

*Imperfections. — Short sorts required to perfect a type- 
founder's bill for a fount of a certain weight. 

♦Imperfections. — Sheets required by a binder to make good 
books imperfect through bad gathering, collating, or spoiled 

Imperial. — A size of printing paper, 30 x 22 inches; writinc 
paper, 34 x 22 inches. 

Imperial cap. — A size of brown paper, 29 X 22 inches. 

Imperial press. — A hand-press between a Stanhope and an 
Albion invented b^ Messrs. Sherwin and Cope many years ago. 

♦Imposing stone. — A perfectly smooth stone or iron surface 
on which formes are imposed and corrected, embedded in a 
strong wooden frame on legs, if stone ; if iron, laid on the frame. 

Imposing surface. — Another term for " imposing stone," 
which see. 


*Imposition. — The "art of laying pages down so that when 
printed they fall correctly in folding. 

Imposition book. — The book used in the composing-room 
to indicate the progress of a work and the number of pages 
credited to each compositor. 

Imposition scales. — The various schemes or plans by 
which pages are laid down on the stone for imposition. 

Imposition schemes. — See " Imposition scales.'' 

*Impression. — The pressure applied to the forme by means 
of a platen or cylinder to give a print from type. 

Impression screws. — The screws which regulate the 
amount of pressure in a printing press or machine. 

Impression sheets. — The sheets which are placed between 
the tympan or round the cylinder to receive the impression. 

Imprint. — By an old act of parliament a printer is required to 
affix his name and address to a work (with certain exceptions), 
and this is termed an imprint. 

In boards. — A general term used to indicate that books are 
bound in boards, in contradbtiuction to paper wrappers. 

In bulk. — A general term applied to large quantities — the 
reverse of anything usually packed or " done up " in small 

In chase. — Type imposed, as distinguished from that on 
galley or packed away in the store-room. 

In cloth. — Books bound in cloth, in contradistinction to those 
in paper covers or bound in leather. 

In forme. — Type made up and imposed. See "In chase." 

In galley. — Matter pulled in slips instead of being made up 
into pages and imposed. 

In leather. — Bound books are thus described, to distinguish 
them from those in paper covers or bound in cloth. 

*In pages. — All the pages of a sheet other than the first or 
outer page. 


In pages. — Matter made up into pages before pulling proof — 

the reverse of proof in slip. 
In paper. — Books or pamphlets folded and sewn in paper 

In press. — Sheets being cold pressed are said to be "in 


In quires. — Books in sheets not bound up. 

In sheets. — Books not bound, but in quires. 

In slip. — Matter set up and puUed on galleys before making- 
up into pages. 

In the hole. — A compositor behindhand with his copy, and 
keeping his companions waiting, is thus described. 

In the metal. — Anything in type — the reverse of anything 
in print ; for instance, to read a revise " in the metal " before 
taking a proof. 

In the opening. — When compositors await a companion 
finishing his copy in order that the making-up may be passed, 
the person so waited for is said to be " in the opening." 

In the press. — A work in course of printing is thus an- 
nounced to the trade or public. 

In type. — Matter yet standing — not cleared away or broken 

In use. — Obviously any fount of type, or cases for same, when 

Incut notes. — Side-notes which are let into the text, instead 
of being in the margin. 

Indelible ink. — Special inks so made ; used mostly for mark- 
ing inks. 

*Indent. A line set back a little ; for instance, the commence- 
ment of a paragraph, which is generally indented an em. 

Index. The sign of a hand or fist i^ Also the reference 

index at the end of a work. 


Index matter. — Matter pertaining to the index at the end 

of a work. 
India paper. — A fine paper used by engravers for proofs, 

which, though generally imported from China, is called 

" India." 
India proofs. — Artists' or engravers' proofs pulled on India 

India rubbered. — Books when interspersed with plates are 

sometimes coated at the back with india rubber to save stitching 

or expense of guarding — when open the book wiU lie perfectly 

India-rubber blanket. — Blankets made of this material 

are useful for bringing up type when partly worn — a hard 

impression being best for new type. 

Indorse. — The titles of legal documents or prospectuses, which 
appear on the outside when folded up. See " Endorse." 

Inferior figures. — Special figures cast or made to range at 
the bottom of a letter, thus — j ^ 3 

Inferior letters. — Small letters which are cast on the lower 
part of the body, e.g. ^ e 1 o n — *^6 reverse of " superior " 
letters—" ^ ""^ 

Ingram machine. — ^A rotary machine named after the late 
proprietor of the "Illustrated London News." 

Initial letters. — Large block or floriated letters used at the 
commencement of a chapter or work. 

*Ink. — The pigment of various colours which imparts the print 
to a sheet on impression being applied to type. 

*Ink block. — The board on which the ink was distributed for 
the old ink -balls. 

*Ink brayer. — A small woodeii implement for rubbing out the 
ink on the table. 

Ink cylinder. — The revolving iron roller in the ink ductor 
which imparts a given quantity of ink to the vibrating roller. 


Ink ductor. — The receptacle similar to a trough which holds 
the ink at the end of a machine. 

Ink fountain. — The ductor of a machine is sometimes thus 

Ink knife. — The long blade in the ductor which regulates by 
means of keys the amount of ink to be given at each impres- 

*Ink muller. — A wooden implement used for rubbing out the 

ink on the table. 
Ink slab. — The table on which ink is distributed, either at 

press or machine. 
*Ink slice. — A small iron implement used for lifting ink out of 

Ink solvent. — A wash for cleansing type. 
Ink table. — The surface on which ink is distributed. 
Ink up. — To run up colour on the rollers, or to coat press 

rollers with a coarse preservative ink when out of use. 
Inkers. — The large rollers on the printing machine which apply 

the ink to the type. 
Inking apparatus. — The parts of a machine applied for 

inking purposes. 
Inkoleum. — An American patent liquid used with ink for 

thinning purposes or to facilitate drying. 
Inner forme. — The pages of type which fall on the inside of 

a printed sheet in " sheet " work — the reverse of " outer " 

*Inner tympan. — The reverse of the " outer " tympan — the 

side which is lifted to place the sheets in. 
Insensible ink. — An ink which cannot be tampered with or 

effaced by chemicals. 
♦Insertion. — Copy left out by accident, or additional words or 

copy supplied by an author, is thus termed. 
Inset. — A sheet, or part of a sheet, to be placed inside 

another sheet to complete sequence of pagination. 


*Inside quires. — The good quires of a ream — distinct from 
" outsides." 

Inside reams. — Good and selected paper — applied more 
especially to drawing or hand-made papers — of 480 sheets ; 
mill reams of 472 sheets contain top and bottom " outside " 

Intaglio. — Printing, such as from copperplate — ^the reverse of 
"relief" printing. 

Interleaved. — When woodcuts are printed they are usually 
sheeted to prevent set-oflf. Bookbinders also place thin paper 
in front of plates in binding with the same object. 

Interleaves. — Separate leaves of descriptive matter cut up 
and interleaved between the plates of an illustrated work. 

Interlinear matter. — Small type between lines of larger 

Interrogation. — A mark or note of interrogation (?) some- 
times used as a query by readers. 

Inter. — ^Abbreviation used in the reading department for " note 
of interrogation." 

Interrogatories. — A class of legal work — questions and 

Introduction. — A term applied to the preliminary or in- 
troductory portion of a work. 

Inverted commas. — Extract matter or names of works are 
placed between inverted commas, thus " and " 

Invictus machine.^A small treadle platen machine used 
for jobbing purposes. 

Irish. — The character of type used to compose works in that 

Irish cases. — A particular kind of cases, with a special lay, 
for composing works in that language. 

Iron composing stick. — The tool mostly used by com- 
positors, though sticks are sometimes made of wood, gun-metal, 
and German silver. 

its] PRINTURS' vocabulary. 67 

Iron shooter. — Special sticks made for locking up formes 
where the quoins are small. 

*Italic. — The sloping characters — distinct from roman types — 
invented by Aldus Manutius, a Venetian printer. 

*Italic cases. — Cases — as distinguished from roman ones^ 

for holding italic founts. 
Italicised. — Words or sentences in italic — indicated in MS. 

by a single line underneath. 

Its own body. — This term is applied to the text type of a 
work to distinguish it from the note or appendix types, usually 

Its own paper. — The particular kind of paper used for a 
certain work — a proof is sometimes asked for on "its own 

Is not used as a signature in the printer's alphabet. 

ACKKT. — A movable border round a letter or 

Japanese paper. — Very thin paper of a silky 
texture made in Japan and used for artists' 
proofs, etc. 

Japanese vellum paper. — Thick hand-made paper with 
a vellum surface manufactured in Japan. 

Jeff. — To throw or gamble with quadrats as with dice. 

Jemmy. — An implement with a flattened toe for raising 
formes in lifting off the press. 

Jerry. — The noise made by beating chases, etc., on an 
apprentice finishing his time. 

Jigger. — A small box with divisions to hold peculiar sorts, 
usually made of quadrats and leads. 

Job. — Any work which makes less than a sheet. 

Job chases. — Small chases used for jobbing purposes. 

Job fount. — A small fount of type used for displaying pur- 
-distinct from a book fount. 

Job house. — A term applied to printiDg oflices distinct from 
book or newspaper offices. 

Jobbing cases. — Double cases made with upper and lower in 
one. They are sometimes made treble. 


Jobbing galleys. — Galleys of various sizes and widths 
suitable for miscellaneous work. 

Jobbing machines. — The small treadle platen machines. 

Jobbing stick. — Composing stick with lever attachment for 
facilitating the changing of measures. 

Join up. — To bring two or more corners close together in a 
border ; also the " closing-up " of two consecutive takes of copy. 

*Justification. — This term is applied generally to the even 
and equal spacing of words and lines to a given measure. 

Justifiers. — ^Another term for quotations or quadrats. 

*Justify. — To space out to any given measure. 

*Justifying a stick. — To make a stick up to a given measure. 


/* the ninth signature of the printer's alphabet. 

D. — A slang expression sometimes used by 
printers — to " keep dark." 

Keep do^vn. — An instruction to use capital 
letters somewhat sparingly. 

*Keep in. — To set type closely spaced. See 
" Get in." 

*Keep out. — To set type widely spaced. See " Drive out." 

Keep standing. — Type kept in abeyance pending possibility 
of reprint. 

Keep up. — An instruction to use capitals somewhat freely; 
also to keep type standing. 

Kent cap. — A size of brown paper, 21 x 19 inches. 

*Kern. — The under part of any letter which overhangs the 
shank or body, as in some italic founts. 

Key. — The wedge which tightens a wheel on the shaft of a 

Kidder press. — An American small rotary jobbing machine. 

King's paper. — A particular kind of hand-made paper manu- 
factured at the mill established by the maker of that name. 

Kiss. — When rollers on a machine fret against each other 
they are said to " kiss." 

Knib of setting rule. — The nose of the rule which the com- 
positor lifts up line by line as the type is composed. 


Knock off. — A somewhat slangy term used by printers occa- 
sionally to express leaving off work for meals or for the day. 

*Knock up. — To make the edges of a heap of paper straight 
and square by knocking up to one edge. 

Koenig machine. — The first printing machine was designed 
by Friedrich Koenig, a German. 

/* the tenth signature of the printer's alphabet. 

ABEL punches. — Sharp steel dies of various 
shapes for cutting labels in quantities. 

Labels. — The class of work which comes under 
this category — address, parcel, luggage, etc. 

Laces. — The leather laces which fasten the ends of bands or 
straps together. 

Ladies' cards. — The particular cards used for this purpose 

are " smalls," size 3i X 2i inches. 
Laid paper. — Paper showing the wire or dandy marks. 

Laid up. — ^When a forme is printed off and required for 
distribution, it is said to be " laid-up " when washed, placed 
on the board, and unlocked. The same term is applied to a 
forme placed on the imposing surface and ready for correction. 

Lapped paper. — Reams of paper sent in flat, i.e. not folded, 
with the two ends lapped over — thus being divided into three. 

Large cards. — A size of card, 4i X 3 inches. 

Large court envelopes. — To take large post 8vo in half, 
5i X 4^ inches. 

Large post. — A size of writing paper, 21 x 16i inches. 
*Latin. — The class of work composed in that language. 
Latin type. — A fancy character of letter for display work. 
Law work. — A general term for legal work of any kind. 


Lay. — This refers to the position of the print on a sheet of 

Lay down. — To put pages on the stone for imposition. 

Lay marks. — The marks or stops used for laying the sheet 
to in printing. 

*Lay on. — To feed or lay on the sheets one by one in printing. 

Lay on forme. — To put a forme on the press or machine for 

Lay on press. — An instruction to put a forme on the press 
preparatory to printing. 

Lay type. — To put new sorts in cases. 

Layer on. — The feeder on a printing machine. 

Laying letter. — The putting of new type into cases is thus 

Laying-on board. — The board on which the "white" paper 
is laid, and from which it is fed sheet by sheet. 

Laying-up board. — The wooden board on which formes are 
laid up for distribution. 

*Lean. — Close and poor work for piece-hands. 

*Lean face. — A thin or meagre-faced fount of letter. The 
reverse of " fat face." 

Lead box. — The receptacle for broken or small pieces of 

Lead case., — Special cases or trays for holding leads in their 
respective sizes and thicknesses. 

Lead cutter. — ^A machine for the cutting of leads or brass 

Lead galley. — A galley for holding leads of various sizes and 
kinds for jobbing purposes. 

Lead moulds. — The apparatus for casting leads in lengths, 
which are afterwards cut to sizes. 

Lead out. — To white or spread out by means of leads. 


Lead racks. — Receptacles for holding assorted leads. 
Leaded matter. — Type with leads between the lines— in 

contradistinction to " solid " matter. 
Leaders. — Dots or fiill points cast on an em of any particular 

body, thus ... 
Leads. — Strips of lead cast to different thicknesses and cut to 

various sizes. 
Leads (Sizes of). — Thick (four to pica), thin (eight to 

pica), six, ten, twelve, fourteen, and sixteen to pica in 

Leaflets. — Jobs printed on single leaves, either one or both 

Leatherette. — An imitation of leather — usually made of em- 
bossed paper. 
Leatheroid. — An imitation leather made of cloth or paper. 
Left-hand pages. — Those pages which fall on the left-hand 

side of a book and have even folios. 
Legal work. — The general term for law work of any kind. 
Let-in notes. — Another term for cut-in notes, i.e. let into 

the text, as distinct from side-notes. 
*Lerter. — A general term for type as a fount. ■ 
Letterals. — This term is applied to errors of single letters in 

proofs. See " Literals." 
*Letter board. — ^Another term for laying-up boards, whichsee. 
Letter brush. — A brush used for taking dust off type. 
*Letter founders. — Otherwise type founders. 
•Letter hangs. — When pages are not locked up squarely in 

the forme. 
*Letter mould. — The apparatus used for hand casting of types. 
Letter paper. — This term is applied to quarto paper — note 

paper being octavo. 
Letterpress. — Printing from type as distinct from litho- 
graphic or plate printing. 
Letter's out. — When type runs short through being all in use. 


*Ley. — Another way of spelling "lye," the liquid used for 

cleansing type. 
Liberty machine. — An American treadle platen machine 

for jobbing purposes. 

Lift. — To raise a forme or type. Also applied to a handful of 
printed work in the warehouse. 

Lift. — The apparatus for sending formes or paper from floor to 

Ligatures. — Two or more letters cast in one piece, such as ft 
or ffi. 

Light. — Slang term sometimes used by printers for giving or 
obtaining credit — applied more particularly to that obtained 
at public houses or beer-shops. 

Light master. — An organizer or medium between lender 

and borrower, generally one of the men, who arranges such 

matters as payment, etc. 
Light tints. — The lighter parts of an engraving in printing. 
Lights. — See "Xight tints." 
Line book. — The book used by compositors in making up, 

showing the progress of any particular work, and the debtor 

and creditor account of lines to each hand engaged thereon. 
Line is on. — When companionships of compositors have 

resumed work after an enforced idleness the line is said to be 

" on." 
Line off. — In companionships of compositors it is customary 

to deduct a line ofi" per hour to counterbalance the trouble of 

leading matter, etc. 
*Line of quadrats. — A "white" line formed of quadrats. 
Line of stars. — A line of asterisks, thus — 


to indicate an omission in any sentence or paragraph. 
Line on. — Sometimes a line on per hour is added when work 

is exceptionally fat. See "Line off." 
Lines. — A compositor on piece-work is said to be on his lines. 


Linear papers. — Papers made with water-marked lines at 
given distances to guide handwriting. 

Linen-faced paper. — Paper having one or both sides 
covered with linen. Folded cards are often linen-faced to 
prevent them breaking in half at the score. 

Lining papers. — End or paste-down papers used by book- 

Literals. — Another term for "letterals," errors of single 

letters in proofs. 
Lithographic. — Pertaining to lithography. 
Lithography. — The art of printing from stone. 
Litho. — A general short term for lithography. 

Lithophine. — An American preparation for preserving 
drawings and writing on stone. 

Lithotint. — An etching process executed on lithographic 

Little ^Vonder. — A small jobbing platen machine, made by 
Messrs. Powell. 

Live steam. — Good steam — the reverse of waste or exhaust 

LL. — The abbreviation used by booksellers to indicate the 
number of "leaves" in a book. 

Loan paper. — A paper of hard, thin, and tough texture, used 
for documents and debenture forms. 

*Lock-up. — To fasten up tightly the quoins of a forme by 
means of a mallet and shooting-stick. 

Lock-up chases. — Special chases made in order to dispense 
with large quantities of furniture in fiUing up spare room in 
formes or on the press. 

Lock-up iron. — The iron stick used for tightening up formes 
as they stand instead of laying them up. 

Locking-up apparatus. — Applied to the various kinds of 
patent fastening, such as screws or iron wedges. 

I I ( i ' 


Logotypes. — Two or more letters, or sometimes words, cast 
in one piece. 

London scale of prices. — The recognized scale of prices 
' ' in vogue in London as agreed to by masters and men. 

Long case rack. — Tall case racks distinct from frame racks. 

*Long cross. — The longest cross-bar of a chase. 

Long letters. — Accented letters used to denote contractions, 

pronunciation, as a e i 6 u n p, etc. 
Long measures. — Type composed in wide measures. 

Long numbers. — Orders to print large numbers are thus 

Long page. — A page of type which is a line longer than its 

companion pages. 
*Long Primer. — A size of type one size larger than 

Bourgeois and one size smaller than Small Pica, equal to 

two Pearls. 
Long Primer reglet. — Wooden furniture of that depth in 

*Long pull. — When the bar-handle of a press is puUed right 


Long S. — The old kind of " s " thus " f " used in old style or 

antique work. 
Long takes. — Portions of copy given out to compositors in 

larger quantities than usual. 
■ ■ Long twelves. — A plan of imposition whereby the pages 

are laid down in two long rows of six pages. 
Longs. — A general term for " long " accents. 
*Loose justifying. — Lines badly spaced, i.e. not tight 

*Low. — When letters or other parts of a printed sheet do not 

show up clearly they are said to be " low." 
*Low case. — When type is very nearly set out of a case. 


Low quadrats. — Quadrats of ordinary height, as distin- 
guished from the high quadrats formerly used for plaster stereo 

Low spaces — See " Low quadrats." 

*Low to paper, — Type when worn is of course lower than 
when new, and it is then said to be " low to paper." 

Lower boards. — The under or taking-off boards on a 

printing machine. 
*Lower case. — The case which contains the small letters, 

points, and spaces — the lower of the pair of cases. 

Lower case sorts. — Letters belonging to the lower case of 
the pair — distinct from capitals or small capitals. 

L. p. — Abbreviation for "large paper" copies of works. 

Lubricators. — Small glass globes placed on the shafting to 
lubricate the working parts of a machine. 

Lug. — When rollers are tacky or stick together they are said 
to lug. 

*Lye. — The preparation used for cleansing type after printing. 

*Lye brush. — The article used in applying the liquid. 

Lye jars. — Earthenware articles for storing lye. 

*Lye trough. — The receptacle for holding lye. 


Is the eleventh signature of the printer's alphabet. 

ACHINE boys. — The lads who lay on, take 
off, and job about generally in the machine 

Machine men. — The workmen or "minders" 
who tend the machines. 

Machine minder. — The skilled workman who is responsible 
for the care of the machine. 

Machine paper. — Paper other than that made by hand. 

Machine points. — Special points which are used in the 
machine department, and distinct from press points. 

Machine rollers. — The various rollers in use for machine 

printing generally, such as inkers, vibrators, wavers, etc., which 

see respectively. 
Machine room (or department). — That portion of a 

printing office occupied by the machines. 
Machine tapes. — The narrow tapes which guide and carry 

the sheets from the cylinders in printing. 
Machine work. — A general term for work executed by 

machine as distinct from hand-press. 
Machines. — Mechanical appliances of various kinds, both 

platen and cylindrical, for printing purposes. 
Machines (Varieties of). — Such as platen, cylinder, 

perfecting, rotary, jobbing, etc., which see respectively. 


Mackle. — A printed sheet with a slurred appearance, owing 

to the frisket dragging, or a defect in the impression. 
Macule. — See " Mackle." 

Made-up. — When type is measured oflf into pages it is said to 
be made-up. 

Magazines. — A class of periodical work which has a special 
and extra charge in composition. 

Mag. — An abbreviation very generally used by printers for 
" magazine." 

Main shafting. — The principal part of the shafting from 
which a number of machines are driven. 

Main ' s machine. — A machine invented by Mr. T. Main, some- 
times called a "tumbler" on account of its peculiar motion. 

Make even. — In copy with long paragraphs, or in newspaper 
work, compositors have sometimes to finish their portions at 
the end of a line, in order to expedite the closing up of 
" takes." They are then said to " make even." 

Make-up. — To measure oflf matter into pages. 
Making margin. — To give the proper proportion of margin 
or furniture to a forme preparatory to imposition. 

*Making measure. — To make the composing stick up to a 
given measure. 

*Making ready. — Preparing for printing by patching up or 
cutting away, etc. 

*Mallet. — A wooden hammer with a large head used for lock- 
ing-up formes. 

Maltese cross. — A religious sign, thus ^ 

Man-hole. — The aperture in a boiler which admits of a 
person going inside for cleansing purposes. 

Man power. — The power of the smaller engines, usually 
driven by gas, is determined by " man power." In the larger 
ones it is indicated by horse power. 

Manifold paper. — Carbonized paper used largely by shop- 
keepers — especially drapers — for, duplicating invoices. 


Manilla paper. — Paper made of a fibre imported from 

Manuscript. — Written copy (MS.), which has a special scale 

in composition, distinct from " reprint " copy. 
Map. — A slang expression for a proof on which there are a 

great number of marks. 
Marbled edges. — The cut edges of books are often marbled 

instead of being gilt. 
Marbled paper. — A particular kind of paper of various 

patterns generally used for end leaves and paste-downs of 

* Margin. — The blank paper surrounding a page of print. 
*Marginal notes. — Usually called side-notes ; sometimes in- 
cut, or let into the matter at the side. 
Marinoni machine. — A French printing machine of rotary 

make, invented by a person of that name. 
Mark. — This refers to the mark to which a sheet is laid in 

Marking ink. — Indelible ink used for marking linen, etc. 
*Marks. — The corrections and alterations marked on a proof 

Marks of reference. — Signs of various kinds used for notes, 

such as * t II IT Sometimes superior figures or letters are 

so used. 
Mary. — If none of the nicks appear uppermost in throwing or 

"jeffing" with quadrats, the throw is called a "Mary." See 

» MoUy." 
*Master printer. — The employer and head of a printing 

Mathematical signs. — Various characters used in relation 

to mathematics. 
*Matrice (or Matrix). — The copper mould with a punch 

struck in by which type is cast. Also called " Strikes." 
♦Matrices. — Plural of matrice or matrix. 
*Matter. — Another term for composed type. 


*Measure. — The given width of a page of type. Measures are 
generally made to pica ems, but sometimes in narrow or double- 
column matter an en is used in addition. 

Medhurst's press. — An iron platen hand-press made in 
the early part of this century by Mr. Medhurst. 

Medical contractions. — Abbreviated words used in 
medical works. 

Medical signs. — Signs and characters appertaining to 

Medium. — A size of printing paper, 19 X 24 inches; writing, 
22 X 17^ inches. 

Melting kettle. — The utensil used for melting down com- 
position for making roUers. 

Melting pot. — See " Melting kettle." 

*Metal. — The compound used for type or stereotype plates. 

Metal furniture. — Furniture cast in an alloy of poorer 
quality than type metal. 

Metal galley. — Galleys generally made of zinc, but some- 
times of brass, used for newspaper work mostly. 

Metal rule. — A general term for em rules or dashes. Also 
applied to longer rules, such as two, three, and four ems. 

Metallic cards. — Cards made with a prepared enamelled 

Metallic quoins. — Patented iron quoins in lieu of the old 
wooden ones. 

Miche (or Mike). — A printer's slang term for skulking or 
playing about. 

Middling spaces. — Spaces cast four to an em of any par- 
ticular body. 

Millboard. — A species of board made very hard, and well 
rolled, used for the better class of bookbinding. 

Milled. — Paper rolled or glazed — with a high surface. 

Mill reams. — Hand-made paper only 472 sheets to a ream; 
if all inside quires, 480. 


Miller and Richard's type — A term frequently used to 
describe the revived " old style " types initiated by the firm 
of that name. 

Minders. — A short term very generally used for machine 

Minerva machine. — A small platen jobbing machine — the 
briginal " Cropper " machine. 

Minion. — A size of type one size larger than Emerald and 
one size smaller than Brevier. 

Minnikin. — A size of type smaller than Brilliant, and a fourth 
of Pica in body only. 

Minute mark. — An accent mark (') is used to express 
chronological or geographical minutes. 

Minutes of evidence. — A class of legal work. 

Miss. — An omission to lay a sheet on by the feeder of a 

Missing sheets. — Any omitted sheets from a gathered book. 

Mitre. — To chamfer or bevel the ends of rules in order that 
they may join closely in forming a border. 

Mitred corners. — Rules made with corners bevelled or 

Mitreing machine. — A mechanical appliance for chamfering 
or beveUing rules for borders, etc. 

Mixture. — ^An extra charge involved on composition if three or 
more types are used in a work. 

M6del press. — A jobbing platen machine originally of Ameri- 
can make, but now made in this country. 

Modern-face type. — ^Founts of recent date, the reverse of 
antique or old-faced types. 

Molly. — In throwing with qiiadrats if the nicks are not upper- 
most ; this reckons as a blank. See " Mary." 

'^Monk. — A black patch on a printed sheet caused through 
insufiicient distribution or bad ink. 


Monkey wrench. — A screw hanuner with an extending claw 
made to fit various sized nuts. 

Monkeys. — Compositors were sometimes thus styled by press- 
men in retaliation for being called by them "pigs." 

Monotint. — Tint printing in any one colour. 

'Mos. — A slang term frequently used by printers for "ani- 

Mottled cards. — Cards with a mottled surface of various 

Mottled paper. — Fancy paper made in various colours with 
mottled surfaces. 

♦Mould. — The apparatus for casting type — the matrix being 
placed inside. 

Moulds. — Generally understood as the preliminary stage in 
stereotyping by paper process. Moulds of course are used for 
plaster work and electrotyping too. 

Mounting wood. — The material, generally mahogany, on 
which stereotype or electrotype plates are mounted. 

Mounts. — A class of printed work on which photographs, etc., 
are mounted. 

Mouse roller. — A small additional roller for the better dis- 
tribution of ink on a machine. 

Movable. — A general term applied to type to distinguish it 
from stereotype, etc. 

Movable bars. — Some chases are made with cross-bars 
which can be removed. This is sometimes a great con- 

Movable cross-bars. — See " Movable bars." 

M's and W's. — A slang expression used to define an in- 
toxicated person's unsteady gait. 

MS. — An abbreviation for manuscript. 

MSS. — Plural of the abbreviation MS. — manuscripts. 

Mucilage. — Any substance used for adhesive purposes. 


*Muller. — A wooden implement used for rubbing out ink on 
the table or slab. 

Multicolour letters. — Characters cut in separate pieces for 
working in two or more colours. 

Multiple mark. — A sign in arithmetic, thus X 

Music cases. — Special cases of a complicated character for 

composing type-music. 
Music demy. — A size of printing paper, 20|: X 14|- inches. 
Music of the press. — The noise occasioned in working a 

press in full swing is thus termed. 
Music printing. — The art of printing music from type or 

Music type. — Special type used in letterpress printing dis- 
tinct from engraved plates. 
Mutton fist. — An index hand, thus ^" sometimes shortly 
oaUed a " fist." 


Is the twelfth signature of the printer's alphabet. 

AIL. — A printer's slang term for "backbiting" 

*Naked forme. — A forme of type waiting for — 
or stripped of — furniture. 

Napier machine. — Platen machines made by 
Messrs. Napier. 

Narrow. — Wooden furniture (sometimes of metal) three picas 
in width. 

Narrow measures. — Type composed in narrow widths, as 
in column matter. 

*Near cheek. — The cheek nearest the pressmen. 

Nearside of press. — The side of the press nearest the 

*Neck of a letter. — The sloping part of a type from the 
shank to the face of the letter. 

New paragraph. — The commencement of a section at a 
fresh line — usually indented an em. 

N. P. — An abbreviation for "new paragraph,'' the commence- 
ment of a new line by means of indentation. 

News composing stick. — These tools are often of 
mahogany lined with brass for the sake of lightness, and made 
up to a fixed measure. 


News house. — Printing offices for that class of work — distinct 
from houses which lay themselves out for book-work and 

News quoins. — The larger kind of wooden quoins are thus 
termed, those used for book-work being of a smaller average. 

News Stick. — See "News composing stick." 

Newspaper chases. — Specially made chases to allow of 
the pages being laid closely together on the machine. See 
"Folding chases." 

N. F. — A slang term frequently used by printers — an ab- 
breviation for " no fly," to feign ignorance or indifference. 

Nicholson's machine. — This machine was devised by 
William Nicholson in the last century, and was the forerunner 
of all subsequent machines. 

*Nick. — The groove or grooves placed in the shank of a letter 
to assist composition, and to discriminate between different 

Nickel face. — Electrotypes are often nickel-faced when they 
are to be used with red ink, as copper deteriorates the colour. 

Night work. — Extra or late work charged as overtime. 

Nippers. — A small implement used for correcting type — 
especially tabular work — instead of the ordinary bodkin. 

Nipping press. — A small screw press for the more expedi- 
tious cold-pressing of jobs. 

No return. — Another expression for the extra charge in 
composition for pamphlet — when a work is all got up without 
a return of type. 

Noiseless forme carriage. — A small trolley with india- 
rubber tyred wheels. 

* Nonpareil. — The size of a type one size larger than Pearl 
and one size smaller than Emerald — half of a Pica in depth 
of body. 


Nonpareil brass rule. — Brass rules cast on this body are 

used for borders or column rules. 
Nonpareil clumps. — ^Metal leads of that depth in body. 
Nonpareil leads. — Leads cast to that depth in body. 

Nonpareil reglet. — Wooden furniture of that depth in 

Non-society hands. — Workmen distinct from those belong- 
ing to any trade organization. 

Non-society houses. — Printing offices not recognizing the 
society scale or open to society hands. 

Non-SOC. — An abbreviation for " Non-society.'' 

Northumbrian machine. — A rotary machine made for 
newspaper work. 

Note of admiration. — A mark of punctuation, thus ! 

Note of exclamation. — The same as "note of admiration." 

Note of interrogation. — A mark of punctuation, thus ? 

Note papers. — These papers are octavo in shape, but of 
various sizes ; letter papers being quarto shape, and also of 
various sizes. 

Note papers (Sizes of). — Large post, small post, Albert, 
Queen's, etc. 

*Notes. — A general term for either marginal or foot-notes. 

Numbering. — This is applied more particularly to the 
numbering or paging, double and otherwise, of cheque books, 

Numbering machine. — The mechanical appliance for 
numbering or paging purposes . 

Numerals. — Numbering by means of Roman mmierals, i, ii, iii, 
iv, etc., instead of Arabic figures, 1, 2, 3, etc. 

Is the thirteenth signature of the printer's alphabet. 

B£LISK. — Usually called a "dagger," thus f 
a mark of reference to foot-notes. 

Oblong. — This is the reverse of " upright " in 
speaking of any particular size — i.e. an " oblong " 
8to, not " upright " 8vo. 

*Octavo. — A sheet of paper folded into eight — shortly written 
thus — 8vo. 

Octavo points. — Long straight press-points, not elbowed as 
" twelves " points. 

Octodecimo. — A sheet folded into eighteen leaves. See 
" Eighteenmo,'' written shortly, ISmo. 

Odd folios. — Those pages which fall on the right-hand side of 
a book and are numbered 1, 3, 5, 7, etc. 

*Odd pages.— See " Odd foUos." 

*Off. — When a press or machine has printed the required number 
of copies, the forme is said to be " off." 

Off cheek. — The cheek of the press on the farther side from 
the workman. 

Off colour. — A slang expression sometimes used by printers 
to define a man neglecting his work, being out of condition. 

Off-cut. — That part of the sheet which has to be cut off in 
order that the sheet may be folded correctly, as in a " twelves." 


Off its feet. — A term applied to type when it is not standing 
squarely on its feet. 

*Off-set. — The set-off of ink from one sheet to another of 
printed work whilst wet. 

Offside of press. — The side of the press farthest from the 

Official envelopes. — Long narrow envelopes, 8i x 3|. 
inches, to take fcap. folio when folded in four — used in official 

Oil can. — The utensil for holding oil for lubrication. 

Oil holes. — Small apertures in various parts of a machine to 
allow of oil being readily applied in order to avoid friction. 

Oiled paper. — Prepared paper for copying purposes. It is 
sometimes used for set-off sheets. 

Old cut. — Anything pertaining to the old or antique style. 

Old-cut type. — Founts similar to the Caslon old-faced type. 

*01d Knglish. — Founts of type of black-letter character. 

O. K. — Abbreviation for the words Old English (black letter). 

Old face.— See "Old cut." 

Old-face type See " Old-cut type." 

Old pelt. — An appellation for an old pressman in bygone days. 

Old style.— See " Old cut" or " Old face." 

Old-style type.— See "Old-cut type.' 

Old Turkey mill. — A machine writing paper of good quality. 

O. T. M. — An abbreviation for "old Turkey mill" writing 

On galley. — Any type on galley — distinct from that made-up; 
or paged. 

On grass. — A compositor taking casual work is said to be 
" on grass." See " Smout." 

On lines. — A compositor on piece-work is thus described. 

out] PBINTURS' vocabulary. 91 

On piece. — A printer engaged and paid by result of work done. 

On the carpet. — A slang term sometimes used by printers 
wben a workman is summoned before the authorities into the 
counting house. 

On the gathering board. — Work in course of " gathering " 

into books is thus designated. 
On time. — When a man is paid by the hour or week, and not 

by piece-work, he is said to be " on time." 
On tramp. — Workmen on the road seeking employment from 

town to town. 

One-sided machine. — Ordinary style of single cylinder 

O. P. — A publisher's term signifying that a book is " out of 

*Open matter. — Fat and well-leaded work. 
Open spacing. — Wide spacing between the words of a line 

or different lines. 

*Open the forme. — To unloosen and open out the forme for 
cleansing purposes — or to unlock for correction. 

*Open work. — Well leaded or otherwise " fat " matter. 

Opening. — When a compositor has copy in hand unfinished, 
and the next man in order awaits the closing-up. 

Organ. — In slang a man who lends money to his feUow- 

workmen at a weekly interest. 
Otto gas engine. — A gas motor especially well adapted for 

driving printing machinery. 

Ounce mark. — A medical sign, thus 3 

*Out. — An accidental omission of copy in composition. 

Out of condition. — Printing rollers not in good order for 

Out of copy. — When a compositor has finished his portion of 
copy, or the whole of the copy in hand is finished or is all given 
out by the clicker. 


Out of his time. — An apprentice who has completed his 

indentured term is thus described. 
Out of letter. — When type is scarce or aU used up. 

*Out of register. — ^When pages do not back one another line 
for line, or at head and foot, through bad gauging of pages or 

Out of sorts. — When there is a run on any particular letter 

or letters, and these become scarce. 
Out of type.— See " Out of letter." 

Out of use. — When type or other material is standing by. 
*Out page. — The first or signature page of a sheet. 
Outer forme. — The outer side of a sheet of work. 
*Outer tympan. — The larger tympan, into which the inner 

one fits. 
Outside reams. — Eeams of paper made up entirely of outside 

or damaged sheets. 
*Outsides. — The top or bottom sheets of a ream — generally 

damaged and called " retree." 
Ovals. — Borders or frames of that shape, generally made of 

Overcast. — A particular kind of book sewing which allows 

the book when open to lie flat. 
•Overlay. — To make ready by overlaying — the reverse of 

Overlays. — The term for the special making-ready of an 

illustration, consisting of several thicknesses of paper cut out 

according to the nature of the design. 
Overplus.— The "plus" or "over" copies of a definite 

number in printing. 
♦Overrun. — To re-arrange or re-make-up matter after dele- 
tions or insertions. 
Overs. — The "plus" copies beyond a certain number. 
Overseer. — The foreman of any department in a printing 



" O," — Curtailment of "overseer" of any department in a 
printing oflSce. 

Oversewn. — See " Overcast." 

Overtime. — Late or night work that involves an extra charge 
on labour. ' 

O. T. — An abbreviation for "overtime." 

Oxford corners. — Borders with mortised corners, thus j_ 

Is the fourteenth signature of the printer's alphabet. 

ACK. — To paper and string up parcels in the 
warehouse, or to paper up type or plates. 

Pack of cards. — A pack of cards is fifty-two 
in number. 

Packer. — The warehouseman specially told off 
for packing-up work. 

Packing. — A material, generally hemp, used for making tight 
and sound the joints of steam and other pipes. 

P's. — This curtailment stands for " apprentices.'' 

P's and Q's — A novice at case is told to mind his p's and q's 
owing to the similarity in shape between the letters. 

*Page. — A portion of type of a given size made up into shape 
for printing. 

P. — An abbreviation for the word "page." 

PP. — Plural of abbreviation of p. for " page." 

*Page cord. — A particular kind of cord, about the thickness 

of twine, used for tying up pages of type. 
Page gauge. — A piece of notched reglet used for making-up 

pages to a uniform length. 
*Page hangs. — When a forme is badly locked up the corners 

of the pages get out of the square and are said to " hang." 
""■Page paper. — Pieces of stiff paper or wrapper upon which 

pages of type are placed in order to release galleys. 


Paging ink. — A special ink made for paging or numbering 

Paging machines. — Mechanical apparatus for automatic 

Pair of cases. — The two cases of type, upper and lower 
respectively, are said to be a " pair." 

*Pale colour. — Sheets printed with an insufficient quantity of 

Pallet knife. — An article used for taking ink from the can 
and for spreading it on the table, or for mixing purposes. 

Pamphlet. — Any work which does not exceed five sheets, and is 
usually done up in a paper wrapper. An extra charge on com- 
position is involved for this class of work. 

Pan on. — A slang expression sometimes used by printers to 
describe anyone with a "fit of the blues." 

Pantograph. — An instrument for drawing on reduced or 
enlarged scales. 

Paper (Sizes of). — Regular sizes, such as demy, medium, 
royal, double foolscap, double crown, imperial, etc. 

Paper (Varieties of). — Such as hand-made, machine, draw- 
ing, writing, etc. 

Paper boards. — A term applied to cheap bindings in boards, 
but with paper instead of cloth sides. 

*Paper boards. — Boards used in the wetting department be- 
tween the different reams whilst in the screw-press. 

*Paper bench. — The bank or "horse" which paper is placed 
on in the press-room. 

Paper cloth. — Paper made with a cloth face to allow of its 
being folded without breaking. 

Paper knife. — A knife used in the warehouse for cutting up 
paper or for opening the edges of a book. 

Paper moulding. — Stereotype moulding by the " paper " or 
"patent" process. 


Paper process. — Stereotyping by means of paper moulds, 
called the " new " or "patent" process — distinct from "plaster" 

Paper stereo. — See " Paper process." 

*Paper the case. — Lining the bottoms of cases — usually 
done now by the manufacturers before the bottom of the case 
is fastened on. 

*Paper up. — To paper up sorts or type for warehousing in 

Papeteries. — French equivalent for stationery. 

Papier Ingres. — A French hand-made paper used more espe- 
cially for drawing purposes. 

Papier-mache. — Pulped paper compressed into Taricus 

Papyrograph. — A small mechanical apparatus for duplicat- 
ing letters, etc., first written by hand upon a prepared sub- 
stance, and from which a large number of copies can be taken. 

Papyrus. — The ancient material for writing purposes, made 
from a reed which grows in Egypt. Also appUed to the old 
written scrolls. 

Paragon . — A size of type one size larger than Great Primer and 
one size smaller than Double Pica, equalling two Long Primers 
in depth. 

*Paragraph. — The commencement of a fresh section by a new 
line, indicated on MS. by ^ or [ 

Paragraph mark. — A reference mark, thus IT 

Pars. — An abbreviation of the word " paragraphs.'' 

Parallel. — A reference mark for foot-notes, indicated thus || 

Pardoe machine. — A rotary machine adapted for newspaper 
work invented by Mr. J. Pardoe. 

Parenthesis. — A mark of punctuation indicated thus ( or ) 
Par. — Abbreviation used in the reading department for the 
words '' parenthesis " or " paragraph." 


Parchment. — Sheepskins prepared for writing or printing 

Particulars of sale. — A class of work which comes under 
the head of legal or auctioneer's work. 

Passing the galley. — In slip work, when a compositor has 
finished his copy, he passes the galley, if not already filled, to 
the next in order. 

Passing the make-up. — As each compositor finishes his 
copy he makes up his matter into pages, and then " passes the 
make-up " to the next in order. 

*Paste. — A mucilage made of flour with the addition of a 
little alum. 

Paste and scissors. — Matter copied from journal to 
journal is sarcastically so termed. 

Pasteboard. — Boards made by pasting sheets of paper to any 
given thickness. 

Paste bowl. — The utensil for holding paste. 

Paste-do\wns. — The blank flyleaves, sometimes coloured, at 
either end of a book which are pasted down on the covers. 

Paste points. — Very fine points — usually drawing pins — 
used for viery closely registered work on a hand-press. 

Patch up. — To overlay or bring up an impression sheet with 
pieces of thin paper. 

Patent composition. — See "Patent roUers." 

Patent rollers. — Applied to rollers of special composition, 
protected by letters patent. 

Patent type. — The specially hard type made by the Patent 
Type Founding Co. 

*Pearl. — A size of type one size larger than Diamond and one 
size smaller than Kuby, equaUing half a Long Primer in depth 
— the smallest type enumerated by Moxon. 

Pearlash. — Carbonate of potash when diluted is used as a 
wash for type. 


Peculiars. — A general term for out-of-the-way sorts, i.e. 
accents, records, etc. 

Pedestal ink table. — A ^mall ink table on a single leg or 

*Peel. — A wooden implement used for hanging up printed 
sheets for drying. 

Peeling. — A process of preparing overlays by skivering or 
thinning down the hard edges of an illustration. 

*PeltS. — Sheepskins for covering the old-fashioned balls used in 
inking type. 

Per cent mark. — A commercial sign, thus °/„ 

Perfect paper. — Reams of paper made up to a printer's 
ream, i.e. 516 sheets, are said to be " perfect." 

Perfect up. — This is the printing of the second side of the 
paper in half-sheet or sheet work. 

Perfecting. — The act of printing the second side of a sheet. 

Perfecting machine. — A double cylindrical machine which 
prints both sides of the sheet at one operation. 

Perforating machine. — A mechanical contrivance for per- 
forating purposes. 

Perforating rule — A dotted rule standing high in a forme 
of type which would partly cut the paper in printing. 

Perforation. — To allow of a portion being torn off readily 
order books and cheque books are generally perforated by 
small pin-holes. 

Period. — This mark of punctuation is technically called a full- 

Periodicals. — The class of work which embraces journals and 
magazines, and involves an extra charge in composition. 

Permanent colours. — Inks which do not readily fade- 
used for cheque books, etc. 

Persian. — The particular fount of type used for composing 
works in that language. 


Persian cases. — Cases of a special lay for works in that 

Persian morocco. — An imitation morocco leather. 

Photographic cards. — Cards used for mounting photo- 
graphic prints. 

Photography. — A process of chemical printing from glass 
after development by means of light. 

Photo-lithography. — In this process the work is placed on 
the stone by means of photography instead of being drawn by 

Photo-zincography. — Process blocks produced by means 
of photography on zinc plates. 

Phytochromotypy. — A process by means of which plants 
and leaves are printed on paper. 

*Pica. — A size of type one size larger than Small Pica and one 
size smaller than English — the body usually taken as a stan- 
dard for leads, width of measures, etc. — it is equal to two 
Nonpareils in body. 

Pica clumps. — Pieces of metal of that depth in body. 

Pica reglet. — Wooden furniture of that depth in body. 

Pick brush. — A small stiflf brush used for cleansing type. 

Pick sorts. — To take any particular scarce letter from good 
or bad matter in order to obviate distribution. 

Picker. — A corrector or finisher of stereotype plates. In olden 

times a fine bodkin was thus termed. 
Picking. — Touching up or repairing stereo or electro plates. 
*Picks. — A speck or blur caused by dirt or badly distributed 

ink on the face of a letter. 
*Pie, — Type broken or indiscriminately mixed. 

Piece-work. — Work paid for by result, in accordance with 

a fixed scale of charges, distinct from time-work or 'stab. 
Piece. — Abbreviation for "piece-work." 


Piecing leads. — In wide measures of type the leads re- 
quired are usually pieced, because long leads are apt to get 
bent or broken. 

Pigeon holes. — Receptacles for type and sorts in the store- 

*Pigeon holes. — A slang expression used by compositors for 
wide and bad spacing, on account of the amount of white 
between the words. 

Piggery. — A slang expression used by compositors to define 
a press-room. 

*Pigh. — Another way of spelling the word " pie,'' occasionally 

Pigs. — Pressmen are thus denominated by compositors in order 
to aimoy them. 

Pigsty. — A press-room is sometimes thus designated by com- 

*Pile of books. — A stack of books bound or in sheets — if 

*Pile of paper (or work). — A stack of printed or unprinted 

Pinched post. — A size of writing paper, small post, 19 x 
14J inches. 

Pinion. — A small wheel, such as a cog, working within a larger 

Pin mark. — This is the slight mark in the side of a type near 
the top of the shank made in casting by machinery. 

Pins. — The French brads or nails used for mounting plates on 

Pirie's paper, — Mostly applied to the writing papers of 
various kinds made by Messrs. Pirie and Sons of Aberdeen. 

Piston. — A smaU cylinder which works in and out, fixed in the 
larger cylinder of the engine, and which conveys the motion 
to machinery by means of a rod. 


Piston rod. — The connection between the piston and 
machinery which imparts motion. 

Pit. — The hollow cavity in the floor under a machine for 
accessibility to the under parts. It is sometimes also neces- 
sary for the steady working of a machine. 

Pitch. — Placing the forme on a machine to a given position, in 
order that the type will be printed correctly on the sheet. 

Placards. — The class of small poster work, such as showbills, 

Planer. — A flat smooth piece of wood used for levelling the 
type before locking-up. 

Planing down. — The act of levelling the type by means of 
the wooden planer. 

Planing machine. — A machine used for planing the backs 
of stereo plates or squaring up plates and blocks. 

Plant. — This term covers the whole of the working material 
of a printer — ^machines, type, etc. 

Plaster stereo. — Stereotype plates cast from plaster moulds. 

Plate marked. — The impression mark of the outer edge 
beyond the printed part of a copper-plate. 

Plate paper. — Soft paper of good quality used for woodcut 

*Platen. — That part of the press or machine which comes 
down on the forme and gives the impression. 

Platen machine. — Printing machines which have a flat im- 
pression — not a cylindrical one. 

Plates. — A general term for stereo or electro plates. 
Plates. — Illustrations of any kind inserted in books. 
Platten. — Another mode of spelling the word "Platen,"' 
which see. 

Plough. — An instrument used for cutting the edges of a book. 
Plug. — To repair any damage to a woodcut it is necessary to 
" plug " the block and re-engrave. 


Plus. — The over copies to any given number in printing off. 

Plus mark. — A sign in arithmetic, thus + 

*Point holes. — The punctures made in the sheets by the 
pins or spurs of the points. 

*Point screws. — Screws for fastening the points on the 

Pointer. — The layer-on on a machine who "points" the 
second side of a sheet in printing. 

*PointS. — An expression applied generally to all marks of 

*PointS. — Long thin pieces of iron with a pin or spur at the 

end, used for ensuring the correct register of the sheets in 

Pole. — A slang expression for a wages bill. 
Poles. — A series of wooden poles for drying printed work. 
Polling backwards. — When a compositor designedly retards 

the finishing of his copy in order to secure a better take next 

time, even though he may lose more in the end by idling. 
Polton's paper. — A particular kind of machine writing 

paper wire-marked with that name. 
'Pos. — ^An abbreviation for the word apostrophe — a mark of 

Post. — A size of printing paper, 20 x 16 inches ; see Large post 

and Small post respectively. 
Postal tubes. — Tubes of various sizes, made of paper or thin 

strawboard, for protecting paper or prints going through the 


Postcard size. — The official-size for inland cards is 4J x 3 
inches ; for foreign, 5-|- x 3i inches. 

Posters. — The class of work used for posting up on hoardings 
— ^large broadsides, etc. 

Poster chases. — Large chases without cross-bars adapted 

for broadside work. 
Poster stick. — A long wooden composing stick. 


Pott. — A size of writing paper, 15i x ]2|- inches; printing 
paper, 16 X 13 inches. 

Pouncey's paper. — A particular kind of writing paper 
manufactured by the maker of that name. 

Pound mark. — The sign for pound sterling — £ ; for weight, 

Preliminary. — Any matter coming before the main text of a 
work — title, preface, contents, etc. 

*Press. — A hand machine for printing or for pressing. 

*Press blankets. — Blankets used as tympans. They are 
sometimes laid in between the two tympans when made of 
other material. 

*Press boards. — Generally the boards used in the wetting 

*Press girthing. — The webbing which checks the running in 
or out of the press carriage. 

*Press goes. — When the pressmen are at work and in " full 

Press lock-up chases. — Large chases specially made to 
allow of small jobs being locked-up inside them on the press. 

Press pin. — The bar used for tightening up the screw-press. 
Press plates. — The iron plates placed at intervals in the 

hydraulic press. 
Press proof. — The final proof passed by the author or 

publisher " for press." 
Press revise. — The final proof for press or machine. 
Press reviser. — The reader who revises the final proofs. 

Press rollers. — The roUers used at press, as distinguished 

from machine rollers. 
Press room (or department). — The part of a printing 

office occupied by the hand-presses. 

*Press work. — A general term for work executed by hand- 


Presses (Varieties of). — Albion, Columbian, Stanhope, 

Alexandra, etc. 
Pressing boards. — The glazed boards used for pressing 

printed sheets. 
*Pressmen. — The skilled workmen who manipulate hand- 
Prestonian machine. — A rotary machine adapted for 

newspaper work, and equally available for type or stereotype 

Prima. — In reading a work sheet by sheet the first word of 

the ensuing signature is marked by the reader as the "prima." 
Prince of Wales note paper. — A size of writing paper, 

4|- X 3 inches. 
Print. — Compositors sometimes speak of work as " print." 
*Printers' devil. — A term generally applied to the junior 

apprentice in a printing office. 
Printers' marks. — In olden times many printers had their 

own particular signs, and were identified by these marks. 
Printers' ream. — A perfect ream of 516 sheets. 
Printery. — An Americanism for a printing office. 
*Printing. — The art of imprinting type on paper by means of 

*Printing house. — A more ancient term for a printing office. 
*Printing inks. — Pigments of various colours for taking a 

readable impression from type. 
Printing offices. — The more modern expression for printing 

Printing papers. — Papers of a cheaper description specially 

used for printing purposes, distinct from hand-made or drawing 

Prints. — Illustrations or plates in a book. 
Process blocks. — Illustrations in relief produced by any 

mechanical process. 
Process work. — Applied to blocks made by mechanical 


Prog. — An abbreviation of the word " prognosticate '' very fre- 
quently used by printers. 
*Proof. — A trial print of any forme of type, plates, or blocks. 
Proof paper. — A commoner description of printing paper used 

for taking trial proofs. 
*Proof press. — A hand-press used exclusively for pulling 

Proof puller. — The person told off for this particular duty. 
Proof reader. — A general term for the " corrector of the 

*Proof sheet. — Applied to the preliminary prints for reading 

Proofs in sheets. — Proofs of matter made up into pages 

imposed and pulled in sheet form, as distinct from slip proofs. 
Proofs in slips. — Where corrections and alterations are 

likely to be heavy, proofs are asked for in " slip " form — not 

made up into pages. 
Prov. — An abbreviation for the word " provident," a fund 

established for unemployed workmen by their trade society. 
Provincial houses. — A general term for expressing printing 

offices out of London. 
Publications. — Periodicals and such like. This class of 

work has a special charge in " casting up." 
Publishers' binding. — An ordinary term used for cloth 

Puff. — A recognized term for an advertisement in ordinary 

matter — anything obliquely praised. 
*Pulled home. — ^When the bar of a hand-press is pulled right 

over so as to touch the near side cheek. 
Puller. — That one of the pair who work at a printing press 

who piiUs the press over. 
Pulley. — A small wheel on which any part of a machine or 

tape revolves. 
Pull out. — A somewhat slangy expression used as a direction 

to make more haste. 


Pull over. — The act of bringing the bar-handle of a press 

*Pulls. — A term applied generally to proofs or copies of a forme. 

Pulp boards. — Cardboards made from pulp of any thickness 
— not pasteboard. 

*Punches. — The small steel dies used for punching into the 

*Punctuation. — The art of giving sense to composition by 
marks of pmictuation. It is generally termed pointing by 

*Punctuation (Marks of). — All points used in punctuation 
come under this head. 

Put down. — To alter any words with capitals to lower case. 

Put in. — To distribute type ready for composition. 

Put up. — To alter lower case to capitals. See " Put down." 

Put up overlays. — To place the making ready of cuts on 
a machine. 

*Pye. — Another way of spelling the word "pie." 

Is the ffteenth signature of the printer's alphabet. 

UAD crown. — A size of printing paper equal- 
ling four crowns, 40 X 30 inches. 

Quad demy. — A size of printing paper equal- 
ling fourdemys, 45 X 35 inches. 

Quad foolscap. — A size of printing paper 
equalling four foolscaps, 34 X 27 inches. 

Quad large. — Cards equalling four "large," 9x6 inches. 

Quad medium. — A size of printing paper equalling four 

mediums, 48 X 38 inches. 
Quad out. — To run out or fill up a line with quadrats. 
Quad post. — A size of printing paper equalling four posts, 

40 X 32 inches. 
Quad pott. — A size of printing paper equalling four potts, 

32 X 26 inches. 
Quad royal. — A size of printing paper equalling four royals, 

50 X 40 inches. 
Quad small. — Cards equalling four " smalls," 7x5 inches. 
Quadrant. — A small crescent-shaped piece of iron or steel 

used for the movement of the vibrating roller on a platen 

Quadrant machines. — A small cylindrical printing machine 

adapted for jobbing purposes made by Messrs. Powell and 



*QuadratS. — Large metal spaces of various sizes for filling up 
short lines, etc. 

Quadrats (Sizes of). — One, two, three, and four ems of 
any particular body. 

Quad. — A very general abbreviation of the word " quadrat." 
Also used as a short term for " quadruple." 

*Quadrat-high. — Anything, such as spaces or furniture, 
made to the height of quadrats. 

Quadruple. — Any sheet made four times the size of a 
smaller sheet, such as quad-demy, etc. 

*Quarter. — This has reference to a particular comer of a 
forme or chase — the cross-bars generally dividing the chaae 
into four equal sections. 

Quarter bound. — ^Books bound with back only in leather. 

*QuartO. — A size given when a sheet is folded into four leaves 
— written shortly, 4to. 

Quarto galley. — A wide galley suitable for works of that 
size — distinct from slip galley. 

Quaternions. — Paper folded in sections of four sheets, quire 

Queen note paper. — A size of writing paper, 5|- X Si- 

*Qui. — Notice to quit — contraction of "quietus." 

Quinternions. — Paper folded in sections of five sheets, quire 

*Quire. — Sections of a ream of paper, consisting of twenty-four 

Quire fashion. — See " Quirewise." 

Quire folded. — See " Quired paper." 

Quires. — Books in sheets, i.e. not boimd, are said to be in 

Quired paper. — Reams of paper folded in quii-es — ^not sent 
in " flat." 

quo] PRINTJERS' vocabulary. 109 

Quirewise. — Jobs of single leaves printed on both sides of the 
paper, i.e. as first and third pages. This allows of " sewing " 
instead of " stabbing." 

Quoin drawer. — The receptacle for holding quoins in the 
imposing stone. 

Quoin drawer overseer. — A name given to the compositor 
who makes up furnitures, etc. 

Quoin up. — To fit quoins preparatory to locking-up the 

*Quoins. — Small wedges of various sizes, usually of wood, used 
for tightening or locking-up formes. 

*Quotation justifiers. — Spaces for justifying lines of quota- 
*Quotation quadrats. — Another name for quotations. 

•Quotations. — Large quadrats, generally of four-line pica and 
cast hollow, used for making up blanks and short pages. 

*Quoted matter. — Extracts and other matter placed between 

" inverted commas." 
*Quotes. — The turned commas (") and apostrophes (") used 

respectively for quoted matter. 

7s the sixteenth signature of the printer's alphabet. 

ACK. — A row of teeth placed horizontally which 
cog-wheels fit into as the coffin of a machine 
runs in and out. 

*Racks. — Receptacles for holding cases, boards, 

*Rag. — The bur sometimes' left on type by the founder used 
to be thus called. 

Rags. — Pieces of old linen or calico used for cleaning 

Railway buff paper. — A common machine-made paper of 
bufiF colour, very strong in texture — generally used by railway 
and other carriers for delivery sheets, etc. 

Ralph. — Another name for the "spirit" or evil genius of the 
" chapel." 

Random. — A special frame used by compositors in making- 
up and for putting standing lines and heads on. 

Range matter. — To make lines in composing range equally 
at either or both ends of the stick. 

Ranks. — Composing frames are generally arranged in rows or 
ranks, and a compositor is facetiously said to belong to the 
" ranks." 

Rat. — A slang term for a compositor who works at a lower rate 
of wages than that generally recognized in a particular locality. 

bee] PSINTJERS' vocabulary. Ill 

Ratchet ■wheel. — A small cog-wheel used in the smaller 
working parts of a machine. 

Ratting. — Working at less than recognized scale prices. 

*Reader. — The responsible person who compares and reads 
the proof by copy, and who also revises corrections made by 
an author or editor. Also called '' corrector of the press." 

*Reader'S marks. — The corrections and alterations — errors 
and deviations from copy or style — marked on a propf, and dis- 
tinct from " author's marks." 

Reading boy. — The lad who reads the copy to the reader or 

" corrector of the press." 
*Reading closet. — A small compartment within the reading 

room. Each reader is generally allotted a separate place in 

order to secure a certain amount of quietness. 
Reading for press. — The final stage of reading preparatory 

to printing. 

Reading room. — The department which includes the read- 
ing staff. 

*Ream. — Paper in parcels or bundles of a certain size — a 
printer's ream being 516 sheets. Hand-made and drawing 
papers slightly differ in the number of sheets, sometimes 472, 
480, or 500. 

Reamage. — This term is applied generally to the quantity of 

a number of reams. 
Recipe mark. — A medical sign expressed thus l^ 
Reclothing rollers. — Substituting new composition for old 

on the stocks. 
Records. — Applied to the various signs and accents used for 

old works, thus, a e i p fl etc. 
Recto. — The right-hand pages of any work. 
Red edges. — The edges of books are sometimes coloured red 

and burnished. 
Reel of paper. — The paper made in continuous lengths used 

for rotary printing machines. 


Reference marks. — Those signs which are used for foot- 
notes, as * t II etc. Sometimes superior letters or figures are 

*Register. — The exact adjustment of pages back to hack 
in printing the second side of a sheet. 

*Register sheets. — The impressions from a forme used in 
obtaining correct register. 

*Reglet. — Thin wooden furniture up to Two-line Great Primer 
generally comes under the head of " reglet." 

Reglet (Sizes of). — Most sizes of types have their equiva- 
lent in reglets. 

*Reiteration. — The second side of a sheet in printing, 

Reit (or Ret). — A short term for the word "reiteration," the 
reverse side of a sheet in printed work. 

Relative weights. — The difference in weight of any reams 
between printing, writing, or drawing papers. 

Relief printing. — Letterpress and block printing comes under 
the head of "relief," as distinct from lithography or plate 

Religious marks. — Signs such a,s >^ fy f" 

Removes. — The difference between one size of type and 
another is expressed by this term. 

Renewing rollers. — When rollers are worn out, the stocks 
are " reclothed," or " renewed " with composition. 

Reprint copy. — Printed copy is called " reprint," as distinct 
from MS., and a lower price is paid for it in composition. 

R. P. — These initials stand for "reprint." 

Reprints. — Applied generally to works printed for the second 
or any subsequent edition. 

Response. — 'A sign used in prayer books and other religious 

works, and expressed thus i?? 
Retree. — The outside, rejected, or damaged paper of different 

reams, marked thus X X in invoicing. 


* Revise. — ^A second or subsequent proof. 

Reviser. — The reader who revises proofs. 

*Ribs. — The framework on which the press carriage runs in and 

*Ride. — When leads are pieced in wide measures they some- 
times shift and overlap each other. They are then said to 
" ride." 

Rider. — A rod attached to the "inker" roUer on a printing 

Rider. — An insertion in copy of additional MS. marked to 
come in at a certain place. 

Riggers. — Wheels attached to shafting for transmitting driving 
power to a machine. 

Right-hand pages. — Those pages with odd folios, e.g. 1, 3, 
5, 7, etc. Also called " recto." 

*Riglet. — Another and older form of spelling the word " reglet." 

*Rinsing trough. — The trough in which formes are washed. 

*Rise. — A forme is said to rise when it springs through bad 
locking up and the type gets oflf its feet. The term is also 
used when quadrats and furniture black in printing through 
imperfect justification. 

Risers. — Wooden or metal blocks for mounting stereo and 
other plates. 

Rod. — A long straight piece of iron or steel connecting two 
working parts of machinery. 

Roll. — To calender or glaze paper or printed work. 

Rolled paper. — The class of paper glazed or calendered for 
cut work, etc. 

Roller box. — The receptacle in which rollers are kept to 
protect them from dust, etc. 

Roller composition. — A compound mainly made of treacle 
and glue. 


Roller cupboard. — A cupboard in which rollers are stored 
to protect them from glare and dust. 

Roller forks. — The contrivance which holds the roller when 
working in a printing machine. 

Roller frame. — The iron frame which press rollers are fitted 

Roller ink. — A common black ink used for the preservation 
of press rollers when out of use. 

Roller knife. — An implement used for scraping oflF the pre- 
servative " roller " ink when the roller is required for use. 

Roller moulds. — Apparatus of various sizes in which rollers 
are cast. 

Roller racks. — Receptacles for storing rollers when not in 

Roller sockets. — The open part of the roller fork in which 
the spindle rests. 

Roller spindle. — The iron rod on which rollers revolve on 
the frame or forks. 

Roller stocks. — Generally made of wood and on which the 
composition is cast. 

Roller stop. — A contrivance on a printing machine for 
stopping or fixing rollers whilst in motion. 

Roller throw-off. — An appliance for stopping or throwing 
off rollers whilst a machine is running. 

Roller washing. — The act of cleansing rollers. 

Roller wheel. — The wheels on which the rollers revolve in 
a printing machine. 

Rollers. — The apparatus for distributing and applying the 
ink to a forme in printing. 

Rolling machine. — A machine for glazing or calendering 
paper or printed work. 


Rolling washing trough. — A special trough made for this 

*Roman. — The particular kind of type in which book and other 
work is composed (such as this fount), as distinguished from 
italic or fancy types. Called " antiqua " by the Germans. 

*Ronian cases. — The cases for these founts as distinguished 
from italic cases. 

Roman numerals. — The pagination of the preliminary 
matter of a volume is generally expressed by these characters, 
thus — i, ii, iii, iv, etc. 

Ronde. — A fancy character of type somewhat similar to a 

Rope paper. — Strong packing paper of Tarious sizes made 
largely of old rope. 

Rotary gatherer. — A revolving circular table for gathering 
sheets into books. 

Rotary machine. — Cylindrical machines for printing from 
a continuous roll or web of paper. 

Rotary. — A short term for rotary printing machines. 

Rotten. — Term applied to unsound impression in printing. 

*Rounce. — ^The handle by means of which the press carriage is 
run in and out. 

Royal. — A size of printing paper, 25 X 20 inches ; writing 
paper, 24 X 19 inches. 

*Rub out ink. — To rub by means of the brayer the ink on the 
ink table previous to distribution. 

Rubber stamps. — Hand stamps cast in vulcanized india- 

Rubber type. — Separate types cast in vulcanized india- 
rubber and generally mounted on metal bodies. 

Rubrics. — The directions placed in a prayer book, which 
were formerly — and are now sometimes — printed in red ink. 

Rubricated letters. — Capital letters printed in red ink. 


Rubricated matter. — Sentences or paragraphs printed in 
red ink. 

Ruby. — A size of type one size larger than Pearl and one size 
smaller than Nonpareil, equal to half a Small Pica in body. 

Ruck. — A sheet is said to ''ruck" when it gets creased or 

doubled in laying on. 
Rule borders. — A frame, usually of brass rule, fitted round 

a page. 

Rule case. — Trays for holding brass rule of the usual size of 
type cases. 

Rule cutter. — An apparatus for cutting brass rule into short 

Rule work. — Composition in which rules are largely used, 
such as table-work, which see. 

Ruled paper. — Papers of different kinds with various rulings, 
used for account books, etc. 

*Rules. — A general term for rules — brass, type, or wood. 

Ruling. — -The art of printing lines in any colour or direction 
on paper. 

Ruling machine. — The apparatus for ruling purposes. 

Run a waste through. — This is done in order to get good 
and even " colour " before starting printing. 

*Run in carriage. — To move the forme carriage or coffin 
under the platen or cylinder. 

*Run on. — An intimation that a sentence is not to commence a 
fresh paragraph, or chapters are not to commence on a different 

Run on chapters. — An intimation that the commencement 
of chapters in a work are not necessarily to begin on a fresh 

Run on solid. — To continue without break or leads any 
particular matter. 


*Run on sorts. — An extraordinary demand for any particulttr 
letter or letters in composing. 

*Run out. — To fill up or "run out" a line with quadrats or 
full points. Also to "run out" of sorts. 

Run out and indent. — To set matter the reverse of ordinary 
paragraphs hy putting the first Hue full out and indenting the 
subsequent lines. 

*Run out carriage. — =-To move back the forme carriage or 
coffin from under the platen or cylinder. 

Run out with full points. — To fill up a line with full 
points, as in " contents " matter. 

Run out ■with leaders. — To fill up a line with " leaders." 

Run out with quads To fiU up a line with quadrats. • 

Run up colour. — To distribute ink and to prepare for 

*Runs in. — Matter is said to "run in" when it "gets in," or 
makes less than an anticipated quantity. 

Runners. — In press-work a line of corks to prevent the roller 
from depositing an excess of ink on the edges of the pages. 
In a machine, a fiat row of teeth for working cog-wheels in. 

Runners. — Figures or letters placed down the length of a 
page to indicate the particular number or position of any 
given line. 

Running headline. — The fixed or general title of the 
volume as distinct from the chapter or section headline. 

Running title. — See "Kunning headline." 

Runic. — A character of type between Greek and Gothic. 

Russia. — ^A leather largely used for binding books. 

Russian. — The particular character of type used for compos- 
ing works in that language. 

Russian cases. — Cases of special lay for type used in com- 
posing that language. 




Ruthven press. — This was a hand-press patented by Mr. 
Ruthven many years ago. Its principle consisted in the 
platen being brought over the forme, which was stationary, 
instead of the forme being run in. 

Is the seventeenth signature of the printer's alphabet. 

AFETY- VALVE. —This is a valve through 
which steam would escape if its pressure ex- 
ceeded the maximum power, and thus give 
warning of danger. 

Samaritan. — An ancient character of letter 
said to have been used by the early Hebrews, types of which 
can be obtained. 

Samaritan cases. — Cases of special lay used for composing 
works in that language. 

Samples. — This term is generally applied to pattern or 
specimen sheets of paper. 

Sanscrit. — The ancient language of Hindostan, Types of its 
written characters can be obtained. 

Sanscrit cases. — Cases of special lay for composing works in 

that language. 
Sat. — Abbreviation of the word "satisfaction," sometimes used 

by printers to express a revengefol feeling. 
Sav7. — The small tenon saw used for cutting up furniture, etc. 

It also sometimes refers to the " circular saw." 
Sa'W bench. — The stand or table where the sawing is done. 
Saw block. — A block of wood in which slots are cut, used for 

sawing up ftimitnre on. 
*Saxon. — The particular character of type used for composing 

works in that language. 


Saxon cases. — Cases of special lay used for composing works 
in that language. 

*Scabbard. — An old term for the more modem word " scale- 
board," which see. 

Scabby. — A term applied to uneven and rotten colour in 

*Scale-board. — Very thin strips of wooden furniture used 
for obtaining close register in printing. 

Scale price. — Specific prices adjusted to the recognized scale 
as agreed to by employers and employed, varying according to 

Scandinavian. — A printing machine with single cylinder, in- 
troduced many years ago into this country by the inventor — a 

Scan. — A short term for the "Scandinavian" printing ma- 

Scarce sorts. — Any particular letter or letters which are in 
great demand through a " run on sorts." 

Scissors. — The ordinary domestic implements — ^used by 
printers in making ready at press or machine. 

Scoring machine. — A mechanical apparatus for scoring 
cards to allow of folding without breaking. 

Scrape up. — To clean a roller by scraping off the coat of 
protecting ink. 

Scratch comma. — A sign thus / used in old documents 
and reprints. It is now used as a shilling mark. 

Scratch figures. — A figure cast with a line through it thus 
% to indicate a cancel, etc. 

Screw chases. — Chases mostly used for newspaper work, 
fitted with screws to obviate the use of wooden quoins. 

Screw composing stick. — The old-fashioned composmg 
stick is fastened up by means of a screw with a slotted head. 

ser] printers vocabulary. 121 

Screw hammer. — A tool with a screw attached to the claw, 
thus allowing it to be used as a spanner or wrench to any 
width up a certain point. 

Screw press. — A press in which the power is obtained by 
means of a screw. 

Screw quoins. — A term for the screw substitutes for 
wooden quoins. 

Screw stick. — See " Screw composing stick." 

Script. — Sloping type similar in character to handwriting. 

Scroofing. — A slang expression used to denote searching for 
scarce sorts instead of distributing. 

Scruple mark. — A medical sign, thus 9 

*Second at press. — At hand-press the partner who subordi- 
nates himself to the " first," or leading hand. 

*Second forme. — In sheet work the second side in printing. 

Seconds mark. — A double acute accent is used for this 
purpose, thus " 

*Section. — A reference mark for footnotes, thus § It is 
used also to mark divisions in a chapter. 

Sector machine. — A cylindrical printing machine. 

Sector. — A short term for the " sector " printing machine. 

Selected parchments. — Picked parchments — those used for 

writing purposes. 
Selected vellums. — Picked vellums — those used for writing 


Selenotype. — A fantastic type, sometimes called " chaostype.'' 

Self inking. — Apparatus attached to any machine to dispense 
with the application of ink by hand. 

Semicolon. — A mark of punctuation, thus ; 

Sem. — An abbreviation used for the word "semicolon." 

Serif. — The fine lines on the top and bottom of a letter, 
thus H 


*Set. — A recognized term for " composed " — to " set " type is t6 
" compose " it. 

*Set clean. — Matter composed with few mistakes. 

*Set close. — Matter composed with closer than average spacing. 

*Set foul. — Matter composed carelessly — the reverse of "clean.'' 

*Set off. — When the ink eflf-sets from one sheet to another. 

Set-off paper. — See " Set-off sheets." 

Set-off sheets. — Special sheets used to prevent the off-set 
from sheet to sheet when printed. 

Set out. — To compose all the type out of a case, or to arrange 
and white out any particular job. 

*Set up. — A common term used instead of the word " compose." 

Set up close. — When an intervening "take" of copy is 
finished, it is said to be " set up close," that is, to the next 
" take." 

*Set wide. — To space wider than the average in composing 


Sets up to himself. — This is a term used when a compositor 
has received two consecutive " takes " of copy, and thus "sets" 
up the first to his second portion. 

Setting rules. — The brass rules used in setting type and 
shifted line by line as finished. 

Sewer.— The person, usually a female, who does the sewing 
preparatory to binding. 

Sewn. — A term applied to anything sewn — not stitched or 
stabbed — in binding. 

Shafting. — The revolving turned-iron pole suspended horizon- 
tally to convey the driving power to the machines. 

*Shake. — A slur on a printed sheet through some defect in the 

Shammock. — An old expression for to "mike," or to be idle. 

*Shank. — The body of the letter or type. 


■ Sharp impression. — Clear and clean impression in printing. 

*Shears. — The ordinary implements — used for cutting leads or 
brass rule. 

*Sheepsfoot. — An iron hammer with a claw at the foe*. 

Sheet and a half. — Regular sizes of paper made to a size 
half as much again to facilitate and economize in working off 
odd sizes or odd pages. 

Sheet dips. — When a sheet does not lie quite flat, and " dips '' 
into the broken or open spaces of a forme, and either " blacks " 
or throws the register out. 

Sheet the roller. — An operation necessary in order to take 
off superfluous ink from a roller. 

*Sheet \work. — Applied to works or jobs printed both sides — 
the reverse of half-sheet or '' work and turn." 

Sheeted. — This expression is used when heavily printed work 
has to be placed sheet by sheet between other sheets to 
prevent off-set of ink. 

Shell. — The thin film of copper that forms the face of an 
electrotype, and which is afterwards backed up with lead to 
the required thickness. 

Shelving. — To undercharge the amount of work done, and 
carry it forward to the next week's bill. 

Sher^win and Cope's press. — An old iron hand-press, 
called " Imperial press." 

Shilling mark. — The sign thus / which was used in old 
books as a " scratch comma." 

' Ship. — An abbreviation of the word " companionship " — a body 
of men working on that system. 

Shoe. — An old boot or shoe is sometimes used as a receptacle 
for battered and broken letters. 

Shooter. — Short term used for the word " shooting stick." 


*Shooting stick. — The implement — generally made of box- 
wood, but sometimes of metal — used with the mallet in locking- 
up formes. 

Short "and." — The ampersand, thus & (roman), d^' (itahc), 
5 (black letter). 

*Short cross. — The shortest and widest of the two cross-bars 
in any chase. 

Short measures. — Narrow widths of type come under this 
head, such as are used for double or treble columns. 

*Short numbers. — Small numbers in printing, such as 250 or 

*Short page. — A page of type not the full length of the gauge, 
as at the end of a chapter, or a line short by reason of the 
exigencies of making-up. 

*Short pull. — When the bar-handle of the press is not pulled 
over to its full length. 

Short sorts. — When there is a run on any particular letter 
or letters, and they become scarce. 

Short takes. — In order to expedite the getting out of work 
in composing rooms, the men are sometimes given short 
portions of copy. 

Short twelves. — A plan of imposition whereby the pages are 
laid down in three short rows of four. 

Shorts. — A term applied to letters with the "short" accent 
over them, thus a e i 6 u 

Shorts. — Applied to copies printed off short of the number 

Shoulder notes. — Marginal notes placed at the top comer 
of the page. 

♦Shoulder of type. — The flat top of the shank of a type 
from whence the bevel to the face starts. 

Shuffling. — Another term for fanning out preparatory to 
knocking-up work in the warehouse. 


Side Hues. — The lower flues which run on either side of the 

boiler and open on to the front. 
Side lay. — The margin of a given measurement on one side of 

a sheet in printing. 

Side mark. — The fixed mark at the side which a sheet is laid 
to in printing on a machine. 

Side-notes. — Marginal notes as distinct from " foot-notes." 

*Side-Sticks. — Sloping sticks of wood used for quoining up 
against in imposing a forme. 

Sigla. — Signs and characters frequently used in ancient MSS., 

thus 7 •^ etc. 

*Signature. — The letter or figure in the white line of the first 

page of a sheet, to guide binder in folding — also used by 

printers to identify any particular sheet. 
Sigs. — A short term for " signatures." 
Signature line. — The line of quadrats at the bottom of a 

page in which the signature letter or figure is placed. 
Signature page. — The first page of a sheet, on which the 

signature appears. 
Signs. — Characters used in relation to astronomy, algebra, 

medicine, etc., come under this head. 
Silver bronze. — A metallic powder used for sUver printing. 
Single cylinder machines. — Machines for printing one 

side at a time only, as distinct from perfecting or rotary ones. 
Single frame. — A half frame for holding only one pair of 

cases up at a time. 
Sit. — An abbreviation for the word " situation," an engagement 

for work. 
Sixteenmo. — A sheet folded into sixteen leaves — written 

shortly, 16mo. 
*Sixteens. — A familiar way of expressing " sixteenmo." 
Sixteen-to-pica leads. — Very thin leads cast sixteen to a 

pica, and called " hair leads." 


Six-to-pica brass. — Brass rule cast six to a Pica. 
Six-to-pica leads. — Leads cast six to a Pica. 
Sixty-fourmo. — A sheet folded into sixty-four leaves — 

written shortly, 64mo. 
Size. — The preparation used for printing with bronze. 

Sized paper. — Paper made with a certain proportion of size 
added, according to instructions for a " hard " or " soft " sized 

Sizes of cards. — Such as thirds, town, small, large, etc. 

Sizes of jobs. — Different sizes, as octavo, quarto, folio,- etc. 

Sizes of paper. — Regular sizes, as pott, foolscap, demy, 
medium, royal, imperial, etc., also made in double and 

Sizes of type. — See Minnikin, Brilliant, Gem, Diamond, 
Pearl, Kuby, Nonpareil, Minion, Brevier, Bourgeois, Long 
Primer, Small Pica, Pica, English, Great Primer, Paragon, 
Double Pica, Two-line Pica, etc. 

Skeleton face. — Thin-faced letter used for jobbing purposes. 

Skeleton forme. — A special forme — ^usually of a broken and 
open nature — ^made up for a subsequent printing in another 
colour of ink. 

Skinks. — An old term applied to drink — or drinking around 
the imposing stone in order to celebrate some auspicious 

Slab. — The surface on which the ink is distributed. 

*Slice. — Aflat wide iron knife used for lifting ink out of the can. 

Slice galley. — An old-fashioned galley with a thin additional 
bottom to facilitate the sliding of pages on to the imposing 

Slip chases. — Long narrow chases made specially for "head- 
ing " work. 

Slip galley. — A long galley the reverse of a quarto or square 


Slips. — Applied to matter not made up into pages, but pulled 
as proofs in long slips. 

Slog on. — ^When a person is working hurriedly he is said to 
have a " slog on " — a slang expression, 

Slugs. — Numbered divisions of metal between different takes 
of copy. 

Slumming. — A slang term used to describe the secreting of 
type or sorts. 

*Slur. — When a printed sheet is blurred or smeared — also 
called a " shake." 

*SmalI capitals. — The smaller capitals laid in the upper case, 
distinct from the full capitals, thus — printing, and indicated 
in MS. by two lines =^ underneath. 

Small caps. — Short term for " Small capitals," which see. 
Small cap. O. — An expression frequently used for an under- 
or sub-overseer. 

Small cards. — A size of card, 3^ X 2i inches. 
Small court envelopes. — Envelopes to take small post 8vo 
in half, 4|: X 3|p inches. 

Small double post. — A size of printing paper, 29 X 19 

Small-faced figures. — Figures of any particular size cast 
on a larger body than the fount they belong to. 

Small hand paper. — A common machine-made paper, gene- 
rally straw-coloured, used for post wrappers and such purposes. 

*Small numbers. — Short numbers, as 250 and 500, in print- 
ing, as distinguished from " long numbers." 

*Small Pica. — A size of type one size larger than Long 
Primer and one size smaller than Pica, equal to half the body 
of a Double Pica. 

Small post. — A size of writing paper, 16i X 13i inches. 

*Smout. — A compositor who seeks odd jobs in various houses. 
See " Grass hand." 


*Soaking pull. — A long and easy pnll over of the bar-handle 
of a printing press. 

Society hands. — Those belonging to and working under the 
rules of a trade society. 

Soc. — An abbreviation for the word "society," — ^the trade 

Society houses. — Establishments conforming to the rules 
and paying the recognized scale price for work. 

Soft brass. — Brass rule which can be easily manipulated, 
specially manufactured for fancy work. 

Soft paper. — Paper distinct from hard or sized paper. 

*Soft pull. — An easy puU over of the bar-handle of a printing 

Soft sized paper. — Special printing paper manufactured 
with a very little admixture of size. 

Soft tints. — The lighter parts of an illustration. 

*Solace. — A penalty imposed by the chapel for the infringe- 
ment of any of its rules. 

Solid dig. — A lean or bad " take " of copy. 

Solid matter. — Type composed without leads ; also applied to 
type with but few quadrats in. 

Solids. — The blacker or more solid parts of a woodcut or 
other illustration. 

S. O. papers. — An abbreviation for the special class of papers 

used by the government " stationery office.", 
*Sop the balls. — An expression used when too much ink was 

taken on the balls. 

•Sorts. — The general term applied to any particular letter or 
letters as distinguished from a complete fount. 

Soundings. — Pressmen are said to be in "soundings" when 
they get near the bottom of their heap and their knuckles rap 
the horse. 

Soupy. — A term of disparagement applied to thin or poor ink. 


S. p. — An abbreviation used for " small paper" when there are 
two or more sizes of paper used for any work. 

Space barge. — A piece of card or thick paper used to hold 
spaces on whilst correcting a forme. 

Space hoii. — A small tray with six or eight divisions — a 
handy substitute for the " space barge." 

Space lines. — Leads used for spacing out are sometimes 
thus termed. 

*Space out. — To widen or open out space between words or 

Space paper. — Another term for " space barge." 

Space rules. — Plain or fancy rules cast type high for filling up 
blank spaces and dividing sections or chapters. 

*Spaces. — Metal blanks cast to different thicknesses of their, 
own bodies for placing between words and filling up lines. 

Spaces (Sizes of). — Thick, middling, thin, and hair spaces. 

Spanish n. — A capital or lower case n with a curly accent, 
thus — 5. 

Spanners. — The tool used for fastening or unfastening any 
nut or screw attached to a machine. 

Spatterwork. — A method of transferring leaves of plants or 
any metal letters to paper. 

Specimen page. — In order to decide the shape, size, and 
style of a new work it is usual to submit a sample page. 

Speed riggers. — Kiggers graduated to allow of the driving 
band being shifted to increase or reduce the running power. 

*Spirit. — The evil genius of a chapel. See " Kalph." 

Split fractions. — Fractional figures cast on two separate 
bodies to allow of the figure being readily changed, thus — i 

a" TT" 

Split rigger. — Riggers made in two equal portions and screwed 
together in order to facilitate shifting or changing. 



Spoilage. — Applied to the sheets spoilt in printing, sometimes 
called " waste." 

*Sponge. — The ordinary domestic article used in damping 
type for distribution. Also for sponging rollers. 

Sponge up. — Rollers when stale are sometimes improved by 
sponging with cold water. 

Spottiswoode press. — An old platen printing machine in- 
vented by Mr. Andrew Spottiswoode. 

Spring. — The mechanism which gives a recoil to any press or 

Spring box. — The receptacle at the head of the press holding 
the spring which acts on the bar-handle. 

Spring brass. — Rules cast in flexible brass — the reverse of 
" soft " or " bending " brass rule. 

Spring of a forme. — A forme of type or plates is liable to 
" spring," or go off its feet, if not properly locked up. 

Spring points. — These are a special kind of press points 
which assist in throwing the sheet off the spur of the point as 

Sprinkled edges. — Cut edges of books are sometimes finely 
sprinkled with colour to prevent them getting soiled. 

Spur. — The short pin at the end of the point which pricks the 
hole in the sheet for registering purposes. 

^Squabble. — To break or upset type and thus make " pie " of 

Square twelves. — Twelvemo laid down in imposition the 
" short " or " square " way, in contradistinction to " long 

Squashed. — Another term for " squabbled " type. 

'Stab. — A term applied to establishment hands, i.e. workmen 
paid by the week and not by piece-work. 

Stabbed. — A form of stitching by piercing or stabbing, used 
mostly for cheap pamphlet work. 

stb] PBINTERS' vocabulary. 131 

Stacks. — Paper or printed work arranged in "stacks." See 

Stage. — A wooden platform a few inches high used for building 
stacks of paper or printed work on. 

Staining paper. — An euphemism for "printing," used as a 
toast at festivals of master printers in the olden time. 

Stamps. — A somewhat amateurish synonym for type. 

Standard machine. — A small jobbing cylindrical machine 
made by Mr. F. Ullmer. 

Standing. — Formes not distributed after printing are said 
to be " standing." 

*Standing press. — Screw presses used in the warehouse for 

Stands high. — In printing, type or blocks not to correct 
height, but a little too high. 

Stands low. — The reverse of " stands high," which see. 

*Stands still. — A press or machine out of use. Also a work- 
man delayed or out of work. 

Stanhope press. — The first iron platen hand-press, in- 
vented by Earl Stanhope in the early part of this century. 

Staple of press. — The frame or uprights of a hand printing 


Star. — An asterisk, thus * (used as a reference or otherwise). 

Start. — Leaves of books are said to "start" when the sewing 
is defective and the leaves are loose. 

Start working. — To commence working or printing a fresh 
sheet or job on press or machine. 

Steam chest. — The small inverted chest placed on the top of 
the boiler in which the steam accumulates before passing 
from the boiler. 

Steam cocks. — The taps in front of the boiler by which 
the steam can be tested. 


Steam engine. — The motor driven by means of this power. 

Steam gauge. — The dial which indicates the pressure of 
steam in the boiler. 

Steam gearing. — The apparatus in connection with a 
machine for driving it by steam power, ue. the rigger, striker, 

Steam jacketing. — A composition coating laid on the boiler 
to keep the heat in. 

Steam pipes. — Special wrought-iron pipes adapted for steam, 
generally painted red. 

Steam printing. — Any kind of printing executed by means 
of that power — the reverse of hand-work. 

Steel composing rules. — See " Steel rules." 

Steel quoins. — A patented mechanical contrivance for locking 
up formes by means of a key applied to shaped pieces of steel 
which fit in a kind of rack. 

Steel rules. — Composing rules are sometimes made of this 

*Stem of letter. — The up and down strokes of any letter. 

Stereotypes. — Casts of pages of type, etc., in metal, either 

by the " plaster " or " paper " processes. 
Stereo. — A short term for the word " stereotypes." 

Stereo apparatus. — Plant and tools necessary for stereo- 

Stereo catches. — Short pieces, generally of brass, with 
a shoulder for holding plates in the required position. 

Stereo chases. — Special chases made for use in stereotyping. 

Stereo clumps. — Type-high pieces of metal which protect 
the edges of pages and form the bevel of the plate. 

Stereo flong. — The prepared paper which forms the matrix 
or mould for stereotyping by the paper process. 

Stereo furniture. — Metal furniture used for stereotyping 


Stereo metal. — The metal used for stereotyping, as distinct 
from type-metal, whicli is of better and harder quality. 

Stereo metal blocks. — Metal "risers" or blocks on 
which to impose stereotype plates. See " French furniture." 

Stereo mounting boards. — A large board — usually of 
mahogany — on which sets of plates are fastened down to a 
certain gauge. 

Stereo mounts. — ^The material — wood or metal — used for 
mounting stereotype plates. 

Stereo pins. — The brads or "French tacks" used for fasten- 
ing stereotype or electrotype plates on blocks. 

Stereo wood blocks. — Wooden blocks with brass catches 
on which stereotype plates are niounted — distinct from 
" metal " blocks. 

Stet. — A Latin word used to denote the cancelling of any cor- 
rection marked in copy or proof, and indicated by dots under- 
neath, thus 

*Stick. — A familiar expression for " composing stick." 

*Stickful. — When the composing stick is full, the quantity of 

type is thus termed. 
Sticks. — A slang term used by printers for rollers when out of 


Stitched. — A form of fastening up pamphlets, as distinct from 

" sewing " or " stabbing." 
Stock room. — The department allotted to the storing of paper 

or printed stock. 
Stokehole. — The place — often not better than a hole — ^where 

the stoker attends to the fire. 
*Stone. — A short term used for either stone or iron imposing 

*St00l. — A platform or stage on which paper or printed work is 

Stop impression. — The arrangement applied, to a machine 

for throwing off the impression whilst it is running. 


Stopping cylinder. — A mechanical contrivance for stopping 
or fixing the cylinder whilst the machine is running. 

*Stops (points). — A general term embracing all punctuation 

Store-keeper. — The person responsible for the care of type 
and other materials in a printing office. 

Store-room. — The department for storing type, leads, furni- 
ture, etc. 
Straight accents. — Another term for long accents, thus — 

a e i 5 ii 
Straight-edge. — A long wooden or metal stick used for 

squaring up the pages in a forme in order to obtain correct 

register in printing. 
Stra\wboard. — Yellow boards of various weights used for 

binding purposes, principally made of straw. 
Striker. — The apparatus attached to a machine for " striking 

on," or putting it in motion. 
Strikes. — A term for type matrices struck from the original 

String. — A slang word much used by printers to express a 

hoax or " sell." 
*Strip a forme. — To take away the furniture from the pages 

of a forme, and thus leave it naked. 
Stroker. — A small implement, generally made of wood and 

tipped with metal, for " stroking in," or laying on sheets in a 

printing machine. 
Stroker in. — The layer-on who strokes in the sheets one by 

one to be printed. 
Strokes. — The up and down lines of any letter. 
♦Strong ink. — See " Hard ink." 
Style of the house. — Most printing offices have their own 

particular method in the matter of display, spelling, etc. 
Sub-title. — The bastard or half-title placed before the general 

title of a work. Also called " fly-title." 


♦Summer. — A piece of wood fastened under the ribs of a 
wooden press close to the " winter." 

Sun machine. — A small platen jobbing machine — for treadle 
or steam — made by Messrs. Greenwood and Batley. 

Sunday work. — An extra charge beyond overtime money is 
charged for working on this day. 

Super-calendered paper. — Highly rolled paper for dry 

Superior figures. — Small figures cast on the shoulder of 
type, generally used for footnote reference, thus — ' ^ ' 

♦Superior letters. — Small letters cast at the top of the 
shoulder of type, used for references or abbreviations, as 
M'', N«, etc. See " Cock-up." 

Superiors. — A short term embracing both superior letters and 
superior figures. 

Super royal. — A size of printing paper, 274- X 20i inches ; 
writing, 27 X 19 inches. 

Surface. — A short term for imposing surface or "stone." 

Surface boards. — See " Surface cards." 

Surface cards. — Cardboards not coloured right through, 
but merely the top and bottom sheets, sometimes one side 
only — distinct from " pulp boards." 

Surfaced paper. — Paper with any prepared surface, coloured 
or otherwise. 

*Swash letters. — Seventeenth century italic capitals with 
tails and flourishes, thus — Cf 'B T> dM 5\^ etc. 

♦Sweepings. — Applied to the paper rubbish swept up, and 
sometimes to the pie picked up from the floor. 

Swell rules. — Short fancy rules used as divisions between 
chapters or sections of a book, thus ■ 

Swifts. — Good and fast compositors were sometimes thus 

Symbols. — Signs or marks peculiar to any particular science. 




*Syriac. — The particular founts of type used for composing 
works in that language. 

Syriac case. — Cases of special lay for composing works in 
that language. 

Is the eighteenth signature of the printer's alphabet. 

ABLE of press.* — The coffin or bed of a 
press upon which the forme is placed for printing. 

Table work. — Matter of four or more columns, 
which reckons as double composition in casting 

Tabular work. — Three-column matter, which reckons a 
quarter or half extra in value of composition according to 
its nature. 

Tacky. — RoUers to be in proper condition ought to be 
" tacky," that is, should be slightly adhesive to the touch. 

Tail-pieces. — Ornaments used for filling up short pages. 

Tails. — The bottom or tail-end of a book. 

Take. — Each portion of copy falling to the share of a com- 

Take down. — To take work down from the drying poles in 
the warehouse department. 

Take down. — A somewhat amateurish way of expressing an 

instruction to distribute or break up type. 
*Take up copy. — When a compositor has finished distributing 

he is said to be ready to " take up copy." 
Taker off. — The person, usually a lad, who receives the 

sheets as printed oflF, and places them on the heap. 


Taking a figure. — A method of balloting by sbaking up and 
drawing certain figures from a workman's apron, in lieu of 
throwing by quadrats, to determine shares of fat, etc. 

*Taking off. — The act of taking the sheets and placing them 
straight as printed oflf. 

Taking-off apparatus. — The special arrangement for auto- 
matically " taking off" the sheets as printed. 

Taking-off board. — The board on which the sheets are laid 
as printed off. 

Tape wanders. — When any of the tapes of a machine get 
astray the fact is thus expressed. 

Tapes. — The narrow webbing which carries the sheets from 
the laying-on to the taking-off board on a machine. 

Tea papers. — Ordinary paper cut to set sizes for holding 
certain weights of that article. 

Technical classes. — Classes formed for imparting a prac- 
tical knowledge of printing. 

Technical phrases. — Trade expressions, distinct from 
" Technical terms," which see. 

Technical terms. — Terms applied strictly to trade 
materials, implements, machinery, etc. See " Technical 

Teeth of cog. — The flange of a cog-wheel, which has its 
edge cut diamond shape so that it shall fit into the correspond- 
ing parts of another wheel. 

Ten-to-pica leads. — Leads cast ten to a pica in depth of 

Ternions. — A bibliographical expression for three sheets 
folded together in folio. 

The closet. — A term applied generally to the managerial 
department, but sometimes to the " reading closet." 

The house. — The general term to the firm as distinct 
from anything in connection with the workmen. 


Thick leads. — Leads cast four to the pica in thickness are 
generally thus termed, though thicker leads or clumps are 

*Thick spaces. — Spaces cast three to an em of any particular 
body — the average space used between words. 

Thin and middling spaces. — These spaces are cast 
respectively five and four to an em of their own body, and 
are kept mixed together in one box in the lower case. 

Thin leads. — Leads cast eight to the pica in thickness are 
generally thus termed, though thinner leads are cast., 

*Thin spaces. — Spaces cast five to an em of their own body. 

Thirds cards. — A size of card — cut 3x1^ inches — used as 
a " gentleman's " visiting or address card. 

Thirty-twomo. — A sheet of paper folded into thirty-two 
leaves, written shortly thus — 32mo. 

Thousands. — ^In casting up the value of composition type is 
reckoned by thousands — ems in depth and ens in width. 

Three-colour machines. — Machines adapted for printing 
in any three colours. 

Three-column. — Matter set in treble columns. 

Three-em braces. — Braces cast on three ems of their own 

Three-em quads. — Quadrats cast to three ems of any 

particular body. 

Three-em spaces. — Spaces — sometimes called "thick 
spaces " — cast three to an em of any particular body. 

*Three-line letters. — Letters used as initials at the com- 
mencement of a book or chapter, and let into the text to the 
depth of three lines. 

Three-quarter frame. — A single frame with case rack 

Throw in. — A direction to "throw in" or distribute type. 
Also an instruction to let a page stand into the back margin. 


Throw-off impression. — An apparatus attached to a 
machine for throwing off the impression whilst it is running. 

ThroTV out. — To turn out bad work or work spoilt in printing. 
Also applied to pages when thrown out into the margin 
beyond the usual measurement. 

Throw up. — An instruction to give prominence to any 
particular line or lines in displaying. 

Throwing in letter. — ^A synonym for " distributing " type. 

Throwing in type. — See " Throwing in letter." 

*Throwing quadrats. — Performed with nine em quadrats, 
which are shaken in the hand and thrown on the imposing 
surface, the nick side when uppermost only being reckoned. 

Thumb lever composing stick. — A composing stick 
fastened by means of a small lever, instead of the screw with 
slotted head. 

Thumb piece. — The ear or piece of the frisket which is 
caught in turning up or down the frisket on the hand-press. 

Thumb screw composing stick. — A composing stick 
fastened with a thumb screw, instead of the usual screw with 
slotted head, and distinct from the " thumb lever." 

Tickle's stereo beds. — Large planed iron beds, with slots 
to allow of catches sliding to any particular part, for mounting 
stereotype plates. 

Tickle's beds. — A shorter term for "Tickle's stereo beds," 
invented by Mr. Tickle. 

*Tie up. — Pages of type when made up are for convenience of 
handling tied up with page cord and placed on the stone or 
imposing surface. 

*Tight justification. — Matter justified more tightly than 

*Tighten quoins. — To fasten up quoins with the fingers 
preparatory to locking up, or in hot weather to tighten up 
quoins to prevent formes falling out. 


*Tills. — The cell-like divisions on the top side of the platen of 
a hand printing press. 

Time-work. — Work paid for by a fixed price per hour — 
distinct from " piece-work." 

Tint blocks. — Blocks or surfaces used for printing coloured 

Tint surfaces.— See " Tint blocks." 

Tinted cards. — Pulp cardboards of various colours — distinct 
from surface boards. 

Tissue paper. — The very thin paper used for interleaving 
plates in books. 

*Title. — The page which describes the work and gives the 
publisher's name and the date of publication. 

Title head. — The blank space at the top of a ruled form or 
invoice left for the printing of the title. 

Title-sheet. — The preliminary sheet of a work, that which 

contains the title, preface, contents, etc. 
Titling letter. — Types used for displaying titles, advertise- 
ments, etc. 
To make margin. — To make the margins of a forme up to. 

a certain scale. 
To make register. — To manipulate the margin so as to. 

ensure perfect register or backing of pages in printing. 
To quad out. — To space out with quadrats. 
To the bad. — When a workman is in arrear or has been 

" horsing " work. 
To the good. — When anything is to the credit of a workman.. 
Tobacco papers. — Ordinary paper of set sizes used by 

tobacconists for holding certain weights of that article. 
*Token. — Two hundred and fifty impressions are reckoned as 

♦Token sheet. — A turned-down sheet in a ream of paper 

indicating " a token." 


Tombstone style. — A monumental style of displaying type. 

Tommy. — An iron implement for tightening up screws. It 
has a bole through the head instead of a slot. 

Toned paper. — Paper made with a decided tone of different 
shades — distinct from white or creamy paper. 

Top boards. — The upper boards used for laying-on on a 
printing machine. 

Top cover. — The upper or front cover of a book in binding. 

Top edges. — The head or top of a book, in contradistinction 
to fore-edge or tails. 

Top gilt. — A description for a book when the top edge only is 

Top side. — The front side of the cover of a book in binding. 

Tops. — In stacking work as printed off the warehouseman 
places a few sheets of each signature on the top, so that they 
may be at hand if a set of advanced sheets are asked for, 
thereby obviating the lifting of a quantity of work. 

Tov(rgood. — A make of writing paper manufactured by a 
person of that name. 

Town cards. — A size of jobbing card, cut 3x2 inches. 

Tracing cloth. — ^A prepared cloth used for tracing purposes. 

Tracing paper. — A prepared thin, transparent paper used 
by draughtsmen for tracing drawings. 

Trade customs. — Recognized privileges which have become 
customary by long usage. 

Trafalgar. — A size of type one size larger than Two-line 

Double Pica and one size smaller than Canon. 
Transfer ink. — Special ink for pulling transfers of type or 

plates for lithographic purposes. 
Transfer paper. — Prepared paper for pulling transfers of 

type or plates for lithographic purposes. 
*Transpose. — To shift words, lines, leads, or any portion of 


tur] PRINTJSRS' vocabulary. 143 

Trans. — An abbreviation of the word "transpose" used in 
the reading-room. 

Trs. — Another abbreviation of the word "transpose." 

Travel. — The length or "go" traversed by a machine in 

Treadle. — The crank which imparts motion to a machine by 
means of the foot. 

Treadle machine. — Small machines worked by the foot, as 
distinct from those driven by any other power. 

Treble cases. — Special upper cases made to hold three sets 
of capitals. 

Treble-column. — Matter set in three columns. 

Trigesimo-secundo. — The bibliographical term for " thirty- 
twomo," written shortly 32mo. 

Trimmed edges. — Edges of books cut or trimmed suffi- 
ciently to make them tidy without opening heads or bolts. 

Trimmed rollers. — Rollers for machine printing are gene- 
rally pared at the ends to prevent the composition tearing 
off the stocks. 

Trough. — Receptacles for wetting down paper or for holding 

Tub-sized paper. — Paper sized by hand after making — dis- 
tinct from engine-sized paper. 

Tumbler. — A general term for a printing machine with a D- 
cylinder — one that does not revolve, but reverses in its 

Turned commas. — These are used at the commencement 
of an extract or quoted matter, thus " 

Turned out. — If in distributing type a larger number than 
usual is yielded of any particular sort ; or in printing, sheets 
thrown out. 

•Turned sorts. — When a particular letter becomes sc.irce, 
another letter is temporarily substituted with its nick reversed. 


Turnover apprentices. — Ostensibly apprentices who have 
been turned over from one firm to another through death or 

T. O. — These letters are an abbreviation of the word "turn- 

Turns. — A short term for turned commas or turned sorts. 

Turnscrew. — A small flat piece of steel for fastening or un- 
fastening the screws of composing sticks. 

Turpentine. — The spirit used for cleansing ink from wood- 
cuts, etc., after printing. 

Turps. — An abbreviation of the word "turpentine."' 

Turtle. — A part of the cylinder in a rotary printing machine. 

Tuscan. — A fancy open-faced jobbing type. 

Tweezers. — Small and finely-pointed nippers used by com- 
positors for correcting tabular work. 

Twelve-to-pica leads. — Leads cast twelve to a pica in 

*Twelvemo. — A sheet of paper folded into twelve leaves, 
written thus — 12mo. Also called " duodecimo." 

Twelvemo chases. — Chases with two cross-bars unequally 

*Twelves. — A familiar term for "twelvemo." 

Twelves points. — Press points made on an elbow. 

*Twenty-fourmO. — A sheet folded into twenty-four leaves, 
written thus — 24mo. 

Tw^entymo. — A sheet folded into twenty leaves — written 
shortly 20mo. 

T'wicer. — A term of contempt for a man who professes to 
work both at case and press. 

Two-colour machines. — Machines adapted for printing in 
any two colours at one operation. 

*Two-COlumn. — Matter arranged in double columns. 

two] PMINTERS' vocabulary. 145 

Two-em braces. — Braces cast on two ems of any particular 

Two-em quads. — Quadrats cast to two ems of any par- 
ticular body. 

Two-feeder machines. — Machines adapted for two distinct 

Two-line Double Pica. — A size of type one size larger 
than Two-line Great Primer and one size smaller than 
Trafalgar — equal to four Small Picas in depth of body. 

Two-line Great Primer. — A size of type one size larger 
than Two-line English and one size smaller than Two-line 
Double Pica — equal to two Great Primers in depth of body. 

*Two-line Knglish. — A size of type one size larger than 
Two-line Pica and one size smaller than Two-line Great Primer 
— equal to two lines of English in depth of body. 

Two-line Pica. — A size of type one size larger than 
Double Pica and one size smaller than Two-line English — 
equal to two Picas in depth of body. 

Two-line Small Pica. — A size of type one size larger than 
Two-line Long Primer and one size smaller than Two-line 
Pica — equal to Double Pica in depth of body. 

Two-line Long Primer. — A size of type one size larger 
than Two-line Bourgeois and one size smaller than Two-line 
Small Pica — equal to Paragon in depth of body. 

Two-line Bourgeois. — A size of type one size larger than 
Two-line Brevier and one size smaller than Two-line Long 
Primer — equal to Great Primer in depth of body. 

Two-line Brevier. — ^A size of type one size larger than TwO' 
line Minion and one size smaller than Two-line Bourgeois 
— equal to two Breviers in depth of body. 

Two-line Minion. — A size of type one size larger than 
Two-line Emerald and one size smaller than Two-line Brevier 
— equal to two Minions in depth of body. 


Two-line Emerald. — A size of type one size larger than 
Two-line Nonpareil and one size smaller than Two-line 
Minion — equal to English in depth of body. 

Two-line Nonpareil. — A size of type one size larger than 
Two-line Ruby and one size smaller than Two-line Emerald 
— equal to Pica in depth of body 

Two-line Ruby. — A size of type one size larger than Two- 
line Pearl and one size smaller than Two-line Nonpareil — 
equal to Small Pica in depth of body. 

Two-line Pearl. — A size of type one size larger than Two- 
line Diamond and one size smaller than Two-line Ruby — 
equal to Long Primer in depth of body. 

Two-line Diamond. — A size of type one size smaller than 
Two-line Pearl and equal to Bourgeois in depth of body. 

Two-line English reglet. — Wooden fomiture of that 
depth in body. 

Two-line Great Primer reglet. — Wooden furniture of 
that depth in body. 

*Two-line letters. — Plain initial letters the depth of two 
lines, used at the commencement of a chapter or work. 

Two-line Pica reglet. — Wooden furniture of that depth in 

T^vo on. — To facilitate and economize printing, small jobs are 
sometimes worked in duplicate. 

Two set.— See " Two on." 

*Tympan. — The frame, usually covered with parchment, on 
which the sheet is placed in printing at a hand-press. 

*Tympan hooks. — The thumb-hooks used for tightening 
the outer and inner tympans together. 

*Tympan sheets. — The sheets placed between the tympans 
to soften the impression. 

Type. — Stamps cast in metal for printing purposes. 


Type bodies. — This refers to the different sizes to which 
type is cast. 

Type cases. — The receptacles in which type is laid for 

Type founders. — Firms who cast type ; also called letter 

Type high. — Anything the height of type. 

Type-high chases. — Special chases made the height of 
type, used for stereotype foundry work. 

Type-high clumps. — Metal clumps cast to the height of 
type, such as are used for stereotype work. 

Type holder. — A receptacle for holding type in stamping by 

Type lifter. — A slang expression for a compositor. 
Type matrix. — A small oblong piece of copper in which a 

letter is punched which forms the face of a type in casting ; 

also called " strikes." 
Type measure. — Scales of wood or ivory used for measuring 

Type metal. — An alloy specially made for type — differing 

from stereotype and other metals, which are generally of 

inferior quality. 
Type mould. — The receptacle in which type is cast. 
Type music. — Music printed from movable type, as distinct 

from plate or engraved music. 
Type points. — American sizes of types are estimated or 

calculated by points — Pica being a definite number. 
Type punches. — Steel dies which are used for punching a 

letter into the matrix. 
Type scale. — Rules giving the measurement of types of 

d^erent bodies. 
Type slinger. — ^A slang term for a quick but careless 



Type standards. — The recognized depth in different bodies 

of type. 
Type writer. — A mechanical apparatus for writing by means 

of type. 

Typing. — An amateurish term applied to the setting of any 
particular line or matter. 

Typographer. — A printer from movable types. 

Typo. — A short term for typographer. 

Typographic. — Belating to the art of printing by means of 
movable letters. 

♦Typography. — The art of printing from movable letters. 


Is the nineteenth signature of the printer's alphabet. 

NCUT edges. — Books not cut down, but not 
necessarily " unopened." 

Underhand. — A term used by pressmen in 
relation to the easy or hard running-in of the 
carriage under the platen. 

*Underlay. — The process of making-ready under type or cuts 
— as distinct from " overlay." 

Under runners. — Continuation of side-notes run under the 
foot of the page in a similar manner to a foot-note. 

Uneven pages. — Pages with odd folios, such as 1, 3, 5, etc. ; 
also called " right-hand " or " recto " pages. 

Unfair offices. — This term is applied by society hands 
generally to those printing offices where the existing scale of 
prices is not recognized. "Closed" offices are not necessarily 
" unfair." 

Ungathered. — Books delivered to binders in sheets, i.e. not 

gathered into books. 
Un-interleave. — To withdraw the sheets which have been 

placed between printed work to prevent set-ofl". 
Universal joints. — A connection with independent action 

allowing the free working of any two portions of a machine. 
Universal machine. — A jobbing platen machine — for 

steam or treadle — manufactured by Messrs. Hopkinson and 



Universal. — A short term for the "Universal" printing 

Unlead. — To take out the leads from leaded matter. 
*Unlock. — To unfasten a forme with mallet and shooting stick. 

Unopened edges. — Applied to books the edges of which 
have not been opened. 

Unsized paper. — Paper made entirely without size, and 
consequently very absorbent and adapted for plate printing. 

*Upper case. — The top or upper one of the pair of cases. 

Upper case sorts. — Those letters which are contained in 
the upper one of the pair of cases. 

*Upperhand. — Used by pressmen to indicate the movement 
of the upper part of the press exercised by the bar-handle, 
the reverse of " underhand," which see. 

Upright. — A page or job set or cut to an upright size — the 
reverse of oblong. 

Upright Hues. — The main flue or shaft which carries the 
smoke from the furnace beyond the housetop. 

Unsheet. — To withdraw the interleaving sheets between 
printed work which have been placed there to prevent set-off. 

Is not used as a signature in the printer's alphabet. 

ANTAGK.* — An old synonym for the modem 
one of "fat." 

*Varnish, — A resinous liquid used very largely 
in making printing inks. 

Vegetable parchment. — Paper chemically 
prepared to imitate parchment. 

Vegetable vellum. — Japanese vellum-paper specially pre- 
pared to imitate vellum. 

Vellum. — Specially prepared parchment of good quality occa- 
sionally used for fine printing. 

Vellum laid paper. — A laid writing paper with a vellum 

Vellum wove paper. — A wove writing paper with a 
vellum surface. 

Vermilion. — A colour in ink very largely used for rubricating 

Verside. — A sign thus JT used in prayer books and other 

religious works. 
Vertical engine. — An upright engine, as distinct from a 

"horizontal" one. 

Vesper music. — Plain chant or Gregorian music is thus 


Vibrator rollers. — Those rollers on a machine which have a 
vibrating motion, and convey the ink to the slab for distribu- 

Vibrators. — A short term for " vibrator rollers," which see. 

Victoria black. — A fancy black-letter character. 

Victory machine. — A newspaper machine which prints 
from the reel, and has cutting and folding appliances attached. 

Vigesimo-quarto. — The bibliographical term for "twenty- 
fourmo," written shortly 24mo. 

Vignettes. — A class of illustration with the edges undefined, 
that is, work tapering or thinning off to the extreraities. 

Visiting cards. — Cards used by ladies or gentlemen, without 
an address — distinct from " address cards." 

*Visoruni. — A corruption of the word " divisorium," an 
article to hold copy on the case. 

Vocabularies. — A class of composition taking an extra 
charge if arranged in columns. 

* Vowels. — The letters a e i o u and sometimes w and y. 


Is not used as a signature in the printer's alphabet. 

AFFLE. — A slang term sometimes used by 
printers, meaning twaddle, gossip, or "jaw." 

Wages bill. — The workman's weekly bill. 

^Vall box. — A receptacle cut into the wall 
for fixing shafting. 

Walter press. — The printing machine invented by Mr. 
Walter of " The Times," and used on that newspaper. 

^A^angle . — A slang term used by printers to express arranging 
or " faking " matters to one's own satisfaction or convenience. 

^Varehouse. — The department responsible for printed work 
and " white " paper. 

W^arehouse boys. — The lads who assist in the warehouse 

^A^arehouse knife. — A large knife used for cutting up by 
hand small quantities of paper. 

'Warehouseman. — The workman in charge of the warehouse 
department in a printing office. 

Warped cut. — Woodcuts twisted through dampness, gene- 
rally caused by improper cleansing or storing. 

W^ashers. — Round flat pieces of metal, used for tightening 

screws or bolts. 
Washing. — An old-fashioned term for "jerrying," or making 

a noise on an apprentice coming out of his time. 
*^^ashing formes. — Cleaning formes after printing. 


^Vashing up. — The operation of washing up rollers or ink 

Waste. — Surplus sheets of a book beyond the plus copies. 

Also spoilt sheets used for running up colour on a machine, etc. 
\Vaste cards. — Defective and rejected cards, usually sold at 

a cheaper rate than perfect ones. 
*Waste paper. — Discarded paper from a printing office. 
\Vaste steam. — Spent or exhaust steam. 
^Vatchman. — A little flag of paper placed jjro tem. in matter 

as composed, which serves to indicate the position of a footnote. 
'Watermark. — The wire-mark woven to any particular design 

in a sheet of paper. 
■Waver rollers. — Rollers which distribute ink on the ink 

table in a diagonal direction. 
Wavers. — Short term for " waver rollers." 
Wavy rule. — Brass rule made with an undulating face, 


*^VayzgOOSe. — The printer's annual dinner. 
*W^eak ink. — Poor and thin ink. 

^Veb machines. — Cylindrical printing machines in which 

the paper is laid on by tapes. 
Webbing. — A term for the wider tapes of a printing machine ; 

also applied to the girthing used for running in and out the 

carriage of hand-presses. 
Well. — A receptacle under the cases in the upper part of a 

composing frame for holding copy, etc. 

♦Welsh. — The special character of type used for composing 
works in that language. 

^ATelsh cases. — Cases of special lay for composing works in 
that language. 

Wetter. — The workman whose duty it is to " wet down " paper 
preparatory to printing. 

Wetting boards. — The boards placed between the different 
reams in the press in the wetting department. 


Wetting department. — That part of a printing office 
where the paper is " wetted down." 

Wetting down. — The process of damping paper for printing 

Wetting machines. — Mechanical contrivances for wetting 

down paper, thus superseding hand wetting. 

\Vetting trough. — The receptacle for water used in wetting 
down paper. 

Whack ! — An exclamation of disbelief much used by printers. 

Wharfedale machine. — A cylindrical machine manufac- 
tured in Yorkshire and called after the place of that name. 

W^harfe. — Short term for the Wharfedale printing machine. 

^Vhatman paper. — A first-class quality of hand-made paper. 

It can be obtained either laid or wove, and is mostly used for 

drawing purposes. It is made by Messrs. Balston. 
Whatman. — A general term for Whatman paper of any 

*^A^heel of press. — The drum in a hand printing press round 

which the girthing winds when running. 
Whip. — A slang term for a more than ordinarily quick com- 
*White. — Any blank space between Knes, or the blank portion 

of a short page is thus termed. 
White edges. — Edges of books simply cut — not coloured or 

*White line. — A line of quadrats at the bottom of a page. 

Also a fiill blank line of text body when used in a page. 
■White metal. — Casts in type metal distinct from electrotype 

White out. — To space or " branch out " any composed 

matter, such as displayed or advertisement work. 
* White pages. — Blank pages in any portion of a printed 



*Vl^hite paper. — A general term used for unprinted work — 
whether white or coloured paper. 

AVhite paper register. — To make register without ink 
by means of impression pulls only. 

AVhite paper warehouseman. — In large offices the 
person responsible for the white paper or unprinted work. 

AVhitefriars machine. — A newspaper machine of rotary 
make invented by Mr. Joseph Pardoe. 

Whole bound. — Applied to books entirely bound in leather. 

Whole fractions. — Fractions cast on one body, thus— i J J 
— distinct from " split fractions " on half bodies. 

Whole frame. — A stand made to hold two pair of cases, 
with a case rack attached. 

•Whole press. — A term used when two men are working at a 

Wide measures.— ^Long and wide measures of type, distinct 
from narrow or short ones. 

Wide spacing. — Composed matter which has more than the 
average space between the words. 

* Winter. — The connecting part of the cheeks of the printing 
hand-press immediately below the carriage or bed. 

Wipe. — This is when the rollers catch or deposit an excess of 
ink on the edge of a forme in printing. 

Wipings. — Cotton refuse used for wiping up and cleansing 

AVire mark. — Applied more particularly to those "laid" 
marks in paper which are seen when the sheet is held up to the 

Wire sewn. — Books sewn with wu-e instead of thread. 

W^ire stabbed. — Pamphlets and similar work stabbed with 
wire instead of thread. 

Wire stitched. — Pamphlets and similar work stitched with 
wire instead of thread. 


*Wood border. — An outside border of wooden rule used for 
poster and broadside work. 

Wood composing stick. — A long composing stick for 
poster work, made of wood for the sake of lightness. 

'Wood furniture. — Furniture made of wood — distinct from 
" metal" or " French" furniture. 

Wood letter racks. — Trays placed in racks for holding 
founts of wood letter. 

Wood letter shelves. — Receptacles for founts of wood 

'Wood pulp boards. — Boards made largely of wood pulp and! 
faced with paper. 

Wood rules. — 'Wooden rules used for the larger class of work,, 
such as posters and broadsides. 

Woodcut paper. — A half-plate or rather soft printing paper 
specially adapted for printing woodcuts and other illustra- 

'Woodcuts. — Engravings on wood — generally boxwood. 

W^ooden press. — The first printing hand-presses were- 
made of wood. 

^Vool-hole. — An old slang term for the workhouse. 

Work and turn. — Half-sheet work on press or machine so 
imposed as to give two copies on a sheet when printed both, 

* Worked. — A synonym for " printed." 

Worked off. — Any forme or sheet printed off. 

'Worked-ofF sheets. — One or two copies of any work laid' 
aside when printed for reference purposes. 

'Working in pocket. — A term applied to men working in. 
companionships, where each have equal advantages. 

W^orking on lines. — A compositor on piece-work paid by- 
the number of lines composed. 


^Vorking on piece. — Workmen paid by the scale of prices 
in vogue — distinct from " time-work." 

Working on time. — Workmen employed and paid by the 
hour — distinct from " piece-work." 

"Works. — General term for volume work, as distinct from 
pamphlets or jobs. 

W^Ove papers. — Papers which do not exhibit wire-marks 
caused in making — distinct from " laid " papers. 

"Wrapper. — A thick and strong paper in which reams of paper 
are wrapped. 

W^rapper. — The outside cover, usually of paper, to a pamphlet 
or similar work. 

W^rappered. — 'A term applied to pamphlets with paper 
wrappers, as distinct from books bound in cloth or leather. 

V^^rench. — A tool for tightening screws or bolts on a 

"Wrinkle. — A fad or notion — a synonym for a " trade recipe." 

"Writing paper. — Paper of a better and harder nature and 
more highly sized than that used for printing, adapted for 
writing purposes. 

"Writing parchments. — Selected parchments adapted for 
writing purposes. 

Writing vellums. — Fine and selected vellums for writing 

Wrong fount. — Letters of a different character or series 
mixed with another fount, although perhaps of the same body. 
"W.F. — These letters stand for "wrong fount." 

V^rought iron chases. — Chases made of wrought iron — 
distinct from " cast iron." 

Is the twentieth signature of the printer's alphabet. 

YLOGRAPHY.— Applied generally to the 
printing of old block-books. 

Xylonite. — A chemically prepared substance 
used occasionally for tint blocks. 

Is the twenty-first signature of the printer's alphabet. 

ELLOW edges. — Books cut and coloured 

yellow at the edges. 
Yellow 'wove. — A cheap kind of coloured 

wove paper, but, anomalously, blue in shade. 
*Y«. — The old contraction for "the." 
*Y'.— The old contraction for " that." 

Is the twenty -second signature of the printer's alphabet. 

INC galleys. — Receptacles on which type is 
placed, used for slip and newspaper work. 

Zinc rules. — Rules cast in zinc— distinct from 
" brass rules." 

Zincography. — The art of producing engrav- 
ings on zinc by a mechanical process. 

Zinco. — A short term for the zincograph process blocks. 

Zylonite. — An American method of spelling the word " Xylo- 
nite," which see. 

Marks and signs 

used by Printers^ Readers 

in correcting proofs. 

Paqe showing corrections^ 

, 'I 3/ 


r~f /J)o not try to correct the faults of hurried raaking-readv/by 

.a weak impression, and by carrying an excess of ink to fhide 1 

^ ^the weaknesy Excess of ink fouls the rollers, clogs the ' 

type, and makes the printed work smear or set off. A good i^a£ 
print cannot be had w hen the impression is so weak that the 
■^Sjj paper ttouches^ barelylthe ink on the types and is not pressed 

against the types. There must be force enough to transfer y. 
the ink not only on to the pape^^but into the paper. A firm ,/ >iatfi, 
s/e^ 0/ impressytn .fhniilft. be had, even if the paper be indented. / 

' The amount of impression required will largely depend on 
(^ the making-ready. Mith carefujteaking-ready, j_impression ^ L— 

^ may be light ; rougfily and hurrieSly done, it must be hard/ ?7 < 

■^C- .^dentation is evidence of wear of type. " The spring and v y 

r^ resulting friction of an el/stic impression surface is most felt 
/ where there is least resistance — at the upper and lower ends 
of lines of /ype, where they begin to round off. It follows 
that the laving of time that may be gained by hurried and 'Jt/ 
rough making-ready must be offset by an increased wear of ' 
TUvhA/l type. 'iThat impression is^^est for preventing wear of type trie. I (p) 
' which,is confined to its surtace and never laps over mum its '^7 

edges. But this perfect surface impression is possible only A . 
, , on a large forme with new type, sound, sa£t packing, and -noM^, 
'■^ H «-^ ample time for Anakin^ady.^ If types are worn, the in- ^jL / 
I // / dentation of the paperby impression cannot be entirely 
It) 'yCr preventec^ ^ood presswork does not depeflji entirely upon yj 
' , , ' the/pressAr machine, neither on the wor kman, nor on the q_^ . 
^ Th materials. Nor will superiority in any «Btfpoint compensate ' ^/ 
J / for deficiency in another : new type will suffer from a poor / 
i^/ y /roller, and careful making-reayy is thrown away if poor ink 7 - y~A,^ 

. / // be usei^ It is necessary that all the m ateria ls shall be 5 
"ny ' good, that ^ey should be adapted to each other and fitly , 
/ / used. A good workman can do much with poor"materials, J. 
ff^ but a negle'ct to cozply with one condition often*produces 
/ a s bad a result as tne neglect of alFT^ 
f^i^n tPl Cit tKe foregoing tacts are caretuUy studied mafiy difficul- ^ 
tics will be overcome in obtaining reallv^^ood work. 

[Page as corrected. 


Do not try to correct the faults of hurried making-ready 
by a weak impression, and by carrying an excess of ink to 
hide the weakness. Excess of ink fouls the rollers, clogs the 
type, and makes the printed work smear or set off. A good 
print cannot be had when the impression is so weak that the 
paper barely touches the ink on the types and is not pressed 
against the types. There must be force enough to transfer 
the ink not only on to the paper, but into the paper. A firm 
impression should be had, even if the paper be indented. 
The amount of impression required will largely depend on 
the making-ready. With careful making-ready, impression 
may be light ; roughly and hurriedly done, it must be hard ; 
indentation is evidence of wear of type. The spring and 
resulting friction of an elastic impression surface is most felt 
where there is least resistance — at the upper and lower ends 
of lines of Type, where they begin to round off. It follows 
that the saving of time that may be gained by hurried and 
rough making-ready must be offset by an increased wear of 

That impression is the best for preventing wear of type 
which is confined to its surface and never laps over its 
edges. But this perfect surface impression is possible only 
on a large forme with new type, sound, hard packing, and 
ample time for " making-ready." If types are worn, the in- 
dentation of the paper by impression cannot be entirely 
prevented : good presswork does not depend entirely upon 
the press or machine, neither on the workman, nor on the 
materials. Nor will superiority in any point compensate 
for deficiency in another : new type wUl suffer from a poor 
roller, and careful making-ready is thrown away if poor ink 
be used ! It is necessary that all the materials shall be 
good, that they should be adapted to each other and fitly 
used. A good workman can do much with poor materials, 
but a neglect to comply with one condition often produces 
as bad a result as the neglect of all. If the foregoing facts 
are carefully studied many difficulties will be overcome in 


(Old Style Face.) 

Canon is the 

Two-line Great Pr 

Two-line English is 

Double Pica is the size of 

Great Primer is the size of this typ 

English is the size of this type. 

Pica is the size of this type. 

Small Pica is the size of this type. 

Long Primer is the size of this type. 

Bourgeois is the size of this type. 

Brevier is the size of this type. 
Minion is the size of this type. 
Nonpareil is the size of this type. 
Ruby is the size of this type. 
Pearl is the size of this type. 


Uniform with this volume, price is. 6d. {by Post ^d. extra) th. 
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The Printers' Handbook 










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'* This book is what every master should keep on his desk, and every journeyman an 
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'* The result of a great deal of labour and patient research." — Press News. 

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